October 10, 2006
Why Was Daniel Culotti Even ON The Street?

UPDATED, 10/11/06: (See below fold). Attacker Daniel Culotti, who was shot dead justifiably by his 52-year-old victim this weekend in downtown Seattle, set fire to his mother's Phinney Ridge home and daycare center in 2001. His mother, workers and seven kids escaped; he got less than two years for first-degree arson. Less than two years...when he could have killed seven children and several adults. More Washington state justice. Additionally, the Seattle Times reports today, Culotti, 25, was arrested three times this year for violating the terms of his release. What were these violations?

What says existing state law on whether these violations comprised grounds for more than a short stay in jail each time? And if no such stipulation exists, what do lawmakers think about changing that, for goodness sake? Is Culotti's ability to repeatedly violate release terms and be set free each time at all tied to chronic lack of jail space? D'oh! What is to be done? The Times article today does not both to address any of these questions. But it does spend six grafs painstakingly explaining why a man brutally kicked and punched to the ground, and verbally threatened with death by his attacker was justified in shooting him. Boy. I'm glad we cleared THAT up.

UPDATE, 10/11/06. The Seattle Times today commendably digs a bit deeper on the Culotti backstory. He was let out of jail after serving nine months of his less-than-two-years sentence for first degree arson (following his attempt to burn down his mother's home and day care center with seven children inside). Classified as "dangerously mentally ill," he had $10,000 in government funds set aside to help cover five years of his housing needs, medication and therapy. He did okay on the therapy (The Times reports), but was unable to shake an addiction to crack cocaine.

That Culotti's story is a human tragedy does not obscure that it is also about the failure of statist therapuetics in place of serious consequences for crimes. Someone who is officially classified as dangerously mentally ill, who tries to burn down a building with seven chiildren (and his mother) inside, and who despite state intervention for his mental illness continues to use crack cocaine and become psychotic, should be LOCKED UP, along with receiving various treatments. Courts and legislators in King County and Washington state, in all too many instances seem to have forgotten that a core function of government is....PUBLIC SAFETY.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at October 10, 2006 10:29 AM | Email This
Comments
1. why on the streets?
liberal "tolerance," liberal excuse-fixing, trial lawyers, head-in-sand denial peddlers, & a society that does not believe in mental health institutions that care for & SECURE its patients; perhaps because a prominent politician, judge or lawyer's family member was not the victim--THIS time...

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on October 10, 2006 10:17 AM
2. Um, before you blame the liberals for this, Chief, check out who was Governor of California when it went through "deinstitutionalization"- and who was President when it happened in the US.

Yup, that's right, Saint Ronnie. Basically, it was a package deal between him and the "we need to quit wasting money on social programs" conservatives, and the ACLU/R.D. Laing types who thought institutions=bad and too restrictive of people's rights. Supposedly there were going to be community treatment options- but they kind of forgot to fund them.

So, one of the people you can thank is Ronald Reagan the next time you run into a crazy, homeless bum...

Posted by: eponymous coward on October 10, 2006 10:29 AM
3. off topic.

Posted by: scott158 on October 10, 2006 10:39 AM
4. eponymous coward,

The difference between conservatives and liberals is we recognize the mistakes of RWR and learn from them.

Liberals refuse to learn, The ACLU still supports deinstitutionalization, the Great Society is an utter failure (40 years and 3 trillion dollars) and the problem is worse, and libs want more money for it.

We know kick folks like Culotti is and was not a good idea. The liberals still haven't figured it out.

Posted by: JCM on October 10, 2006 10:43 AM
5. It was hardly distinctive to California, coward. Deinstitutionalization was a national movement, pushed heavily by people on the left who believed the civil rights of mentally ill persons in institutions were being violated, and who sometimes even challenged the validity of conventional diagnoses of mental illness. We've all been paying for the consequences of that policy for a long time.

Posted by: stu on October 10, 2006 10:44 AM
6. Hey, the good news is that for once, there was some good swift justice here, the guys dead and gone and no longer a menace to society. Sad that our overly tolerant (of criminals, not Republicans) liberal media and other cultural and judicial institutions allow an animal like this to go unpunished for as long as he was.

Posted by: Jeff B. on October 10, 2006 11:03 AM
7. Why am I not surprised to see one of the great myths of the left on this thread? "Ronald Reagan put the homeless on the streets".

Deinstitutionalization is far more a product of leftist ideology and has a history that goes back as far as 1955.

It would have been nice if the Times had reported what Culotti's parole violations were. Was the guy a serial arsonist, or what? We need to understand the facts and why he was on the street Saturday.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on October 10, 2006 11:14 AM
8. let's clear up a coupla things here. one, deinstitutionalization in the 60s thru the 80s was pushed just as hard by republicans such as ronald reagan. you may have heard of him before. second, i find the short sentences kind of outrageous too and it's clear this guy was a perfect candidate for forced outpatient commitment at a minimum. third, locking people away in state hospitals is a rotten solution to mental illness in general (where crimes have been committed, then there is a forensic unit for them at western). go take a tour of the place and then get back to me on how you feel abotu instiutionalizing the mentally ill for years and years at a time.

either way, the shoot was totally justifiable and shame on the other citizens who didn't come to the aid of the victim.

Posted by: Harry Callahan on October 10, 2006 11:16 AM
9. coward - it astonishes me that the left are blaming Reagan for the ills of Ds governing this state for the past 20 years.

The WA Ds got caught up in their own philosophy! We are too dumb to take care of ourselves, (federal) government needs to take care of us. If they felt so strongly about it, why didn't they fund it? Reagan was never governor of this state!

Posted by: Right said Fred on October 10, 2006 11:26 AM
10. Nice try eponymous coward, but no cigar. It was under Ronald Reagan’s presidency that EMPTY State mental hospitals were closed saving taxpayers a great deal of money. What you say: empty State mental hospitals. Yea empty. You see back in the ‘60’s there was a movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest that made such an EMOTIONAL IMPACT that it became unfashionable to institutionalize the mentally sick except in a very very small number of extreme cases. The hospitals were basically empty, liberals in cahoots with fraud psychoanalysts had thrown the doors open and turned the mentally ill loose on the streets. Sorry (not really) to burst your bubble, but the facts are the facts.

Posted by: JDH on October 10, 2006 11:41 AM
11. The prosecutor, when Culotti pled guilty to arson first degree, recommended an exceptional sentence of 97 months in prison. Meanwhile, your beloved Antonin Scalia convinced four of his brethern that judges can't impose exceptional sentences, only jurors can, so the judge was forced to impose a standard range sentence. It wasn't the Washington justice system. It wasn't "liberal" judges. It was Republicans that put Culotti on the street.

Posted by: r., j. on October 10, 2006 11:47 AM
12. It's the money. It always is. The great state of Washington, and most of the nation, consider the mentally ill are not quite such a priority as museums, funding the arts, walking and biking trails, funding sports arenas, reducing tuition to illegal aliens, funding health care for illegal aliens, and generally throwing money away on "feel good and make yourself look oh, so cultured" projects. Meanwhile, people who are a danger to themselves and others are on their own. No wonder they're ticked off and attack others! They need to be cared for. And if a state's first priority is not it's people, then something is really scary here in Washington. Of course, it costs a lot, just like prisons do. I'm willing to pay taxes to support those of us who really need our care and support, and to protect us from them when need be. Our state, however, has other acorns roasting, and figures why waste the money on "people that are sub-standard"? It's a shame, and has been going on for around 40 years, roughly as long as the liberals have had their stranglehold on this state.

Posted by: katomar on October 10, 2006 11:53 AM
13. I grew up and lived for ~20 years within sight of Western State Hospital and have talked, at length, with many retired State Hospital workers ranging from cooks and orderlies to doctors who retired and still live in the neighborhood around Ft Steilacoom Park and walked in the park and on Hospital grounds daily.

According to each and every one I talked to the beginning of the end was when the mentally incompetent, who were able to, were no longer required to a) get out of bed b) shower c) keep a tidy appearance d) go out and work on the hospital farm.

These people, to a person, described how people who had been able to live fairly O.K. lives under this very structured system simply fell apart and spent the remainder of their time at Western State blankly staring at the walls, chain smoking cigarette after cigarette. This was before being thrown out onto the streets. Check your facts and you will see that the ACLU’s fingerprints are all over the cases and subsequent laws that changed how mental patients are treated. I am not saying that there was some reform needed, but what I am saying is that like everything the left touches the people they purport to care so much for end up worse off than previously and society also suffers from their perverted concept of “compassion.”

Posted by: JDH on October 10, 2006 12:00 PM
14. Re: #10 Sorry, but you’re incorrect. The move to close Western State Hospital started in the late-1960s and was in the concluding stages by the late-1970s. Those released were walking the streets of Tacoma and, as direct result, we made the decision to move to the 'burbs in 1976.

JDH’s correct. The state felt it was inappropriate to have the patients volintarily tend the herds and till the fields to raise crops that were consumed on the campus. Better they populate the sidwalks…

Posted by: TedS on October 10, 2006 05:00 PM
15. r.j.

And based on the constitution, Scalia was correct. Why didn't the judge just give the maximum sentence allowed? Why doesn't our legislative branch change the laws and increase the time that can be servered? That would be what our government should do and how it's supposed to work.

Have you contacted your state representatives about increasing sentencing on any crimes? If not, please do. Your voice can help to keep those that commit crimes off the streets.

Posted by: Dengle on October 10, 2006 05:30 PM
16. Wow, it's how many decades after Ron Reagan was president and some useful idiot wants to blame this on him?

The simple fact is that what Reagan did was irrelevant here.

The real problem here is that this guy is a habitual LAW BREAKER with a record and was put out onto the street. Would you dare say that Reagan was soft on criminals?

Republicans are the party that represents putting violent criminals behind bars and keeping them there. Democrats are the party of treating criminals like naughty children and slapping them on the hand before releasing them back into society. There's really no arguing that point is there?

Posted by: johnny on October 10, 2006 06:01 PM
17. I notice that Mr Culotti is registered to vote, though his status is inactive. More interesting is the fact that his mother, whom the Times article says lives in upstate New York now, is also registered to vote in King County.

Posted by: Legast on October 10, 2006 07:01 PM
18. Bull's eye!

Posted by: Tyler Durden on October 10, 2006 08:18 PM
19. This is one of those heart warming stories you just love to read about. A thorough going scumbag attacks someone who was just walking by, without provocation, and gets shot by that armed citizen.

Incidents like this are the raison d'etre for the Concealed Weapon Permit. You better believe that the dacoits and thugs take notice when one of their kind is slain by an armed citizen. They'll think twice before attacking someone else on the street especially since Washington State has one of the more liberal CWP policies in the country.

Posted by: Bill K. on October 10, 2006 08:42 PM
20. RE: #14 actually I am quite correct. What's more my facts came first hand, you see I used to attend daily Mass at the WSH Chapel with many former employees and our chats were just small talk among friends walking the grounds after Mass. Many of the former WSH employees just chatted about their personal observations and these people ranged from cooks and orderlies to docs. To a person they fell into tearful loss of composure regarding the fate of the former patients who they saw walking the streets of Tacoma. They were absolutely heartsick about societies utter neglect. By the way some worked in the unstructured group homes that were to replace WSH and they saw the effects of dangerously insane preying on the defenseless others who were there. They quit in despair because they were not allowed to control the patients, they had to "give them space." Only after repeated criminal assalt were they removed. So much for compassion for the most vulnerable. This friends is SICK, SICK, SICK. What is more it can be laid dirrectly at the feet of the "enlightened" who's utter contempt for tried and true methods led to the inmates literally running the assilums. Whay was needed were targeted reforms, not wholesale expirimentation on sick people using theoretical utopian logic (or should I say, lack there of).

Posted by: JDH on October 10, 2006 09:15 PM
21. JDH: I, too, grew up within 5 miles of WSH (1950-1971), played Little League ballgames on the west playfield, had many friends and acquaintances who worked there through the years, and have always held an interest in mental health policy.

It was the Community Mental Health Act of 1963, not court cases in the 1970's that spearheaded deinstitutionalization as policy.

By 1976 some were sensing the folly ("The Deinstitutionalization of the Mentally Ill: A Critical View", an article by Andrew Scull in Politics and Society 6 (Summer 1976)).

The mistake is even more evident today.

Posted by: TedS on October 10, 2006 11:13 PM
22. The same fate is awaiting most of the final few residents of Fircrest, as the inexorable march toward closure continues. While there are people there who could manage in a half-way house sort of situation, there are many that are going to be moved to such houses who really need more supervision than can be afforded in such homes.
My sister, who worked there for many years, has moved to Spokane to work in one of the few remaining residential care facilities left in the state.

Posted by: mark on October 10, 2006 11:15 PM
23. "The man shot and killed near Westlake Center over the weekend was identified this week as a troubled young man who struggled with both drug use and mental illness and once tried to burn down his mother's day care center."

As expected, this guy had mental illness and a history of problems (many of which were likely self-inflicted.) Good thing all the vindictive "turn the other cheek" Christians here are just foaming at the mouth waiting for the next whacked-out street dweller to be shot by another "upstanding citizen."

Some of you rabid gun nuts need to move to a third world country, where death squads routinely carry out these human-hunting fantasies of yours. You know, the fantasy where the "good guy" always bags the "bad guy." Just like in the movies!

I wonder if it was Mel Gibson running amok - recently fallen off the wagon again -"threatening" a paranoid gun-toting citizen. Would the SP crowd be relishing the thought of shooting him in cold blood? Or, does this celebration of death only apply to "the real criminals?"

Look - this guy deserved to be locked up and institutionalized for many years. But he didn't deserve death. If the victim was attacked on a dark street, with nobody around, I could see what his rationale would be for using deadly force. But this was mid-day on a Sunday, at a crowded Westlake Center.

Posted by: Benjamin on October 10, 2006 11:27 PM
24. -Incidents like this are the raison d'etre for the Concealed Weapon Permit. You better believe that the dacoits and thugs take notice when one of their kind is slain by an armed citizen. They'll think twice before attacking someone else on the street especially since Washington State has one of the more liberal CWP policies in the country.-

Yeah, right, BillK. Like the mentally ill ever stop to "think once" let alone "think twice."

This was a guy who tried to burn his mother's house down "because it needed to be burned."

This incident might make vindictive and angry people like you feel good about your own twisted world view - but to say this shooting actually serves as some kind of deterent is a joke.

Posted by: Benjamin on October 10, 2006 11:35 PM
25. But to answer Mr. Roseberg's question as to why Daniel Culotti was even on the street - it may have had something to do with Reagan rescinding the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980, less than a year into his first term. Federal support for Community Mental Health Centers evaporated as soon as Reagan began his war on social programs.

Posted by: Benjamin on October 10, 2006 11:47 PM
26. Mental Illness. Something not too fun to die for but it happens. The use of a gun here is immaterial and shows a real lack of perception for those whacked off about gun usage. The shooter was threatened. Better to survive then to become an impersonal murder statistic.

Mentally Ill people all are looking for love and acceptance. But their reality pushes their support away. The meager support provided by institutions doesn't help much. People tend to overhouse those that make them uncomfortable,but many (most democrats) are capable of living in open society with some marginal support. Mentally ill people, the serious ones, are more likely to be abused by the people around them.

Posted by: jd on October 10, 2006 11:51 PM
27. Some commentators make valid points about blaming groups like the ACLU, which puts individual rights over community rights. Blame can also be attributed to "advocates" for the mentally ill who oppose involuntary commitment. But there's still something wrong in this country, where three times as many persons with mental illness are in prison than are in mental health hospitals.

Posted by: Benjamin on October 11, 2006 12:00 AM
28. I am sad to find this site. You people SEEM so insensitive and with such a deep lack of humanity. It is just not that simple. All of you have tried to encapsulate what you read to be going on. What I mean is, you don't even perceive the roots because you do not have the knowledge. I can't sleep... up reading about a beautiful boy I once knew named Danny Culotti. How.. why do you people even attempt to address a story you know nothing about save the clippings of a newspaper and a few minutes from a paid news anchor. You address some pertanent issues but very few of you actually touch on what pierces the heart. Politics is what interests you and perhaps that is why this forum is so disappointing to me. Perhaps it is because of the cold hearts barely beating, not ablaze, in many of you that chill me. Danny was incredibly intelligent, talented, and creative. He was also in a lot of pain. He never felt loved or accepted by his parents. As his disease grew, so did the distance between himself and his family. He suffered from schizophrenia. There is so much detail to the life of one human being; look at your own! Once I had a crush on a bright, kind boy of fourteen (and fifteen:). So much had changed for him by the time I had seen him again at 17. Perhaps alcohol unlocked the what he wanted to forget. I don't know. He was such a great baseball player:) I remember that so well. It really breaks my heart to hear about his death from my little brother (who played ball with him). You guys should have seen them. Anyway, I just felt digusted when reading all this. You never knew him. He was a unique person and so alone. Please use common sense and common heart to look deeper before you soil someone you don't even know. I do not believe what he did was right by any means. I do question why a 52 year-old man was not able to defend himself against Danny, a small-boned male of only 5'8" or smaller. Why did he not call for help in busy Downtown Seattle rather than end a life? Blood on his hands now:( But you know what, I was not there. None of us were. Maybe there wasn't anyone around that specific intersection...? Honestly, I have lived in Seattle for 14 years and I can tell you that most of the time, even when there are people around, they are too scared to step in. Danny was just one boy, ONE MAN! Every human being out there should help another in need and can certainly stand a good chance against one other person. Isn't it worth it to stop pain? If there was someone around, they should have stepped in or gotten a group to stop the attack and called the police. All talk, talk, talk in Seattle. Rarely are there those who are one with there words. I will not come back to this site again so if you are still not FEELING and feel the need to be rude to me, I will not be back to read it. I just wanted to let you all know a little more and hopefully open your hearts. I will miss my friend, honestly, I missed the Danny I knew for a long time now.

Posted by: Marissa Silva on October 11, 2006 01:58 AM
29. JDH--
interesting perspectives, & as i suspected for some time. not being naive, i think we learned lessons of past institutions and can now have better ones. cost? divert & cancel some existing programs like benefits for illegal aliens, diversity and bi-lingual things for a start. i'd be up for more tax for this if done properly & audited. structured care is good for the truly ill--timely meds, cleanliness and controlled confinement. it benefits all parties if done properly. when does the ill's freedom trump my safety?

Marissa--
no one is gloating here. your points are taken. i'm sure all feel it's a tradgedy and a lost life. however it was not a DOUBLE tragedy. no one should feel guilty for defending one's own life. feelings and basic survival are quite different issues. the latter must come first.

bloggers like me only seek to defend themselves, ask why they need to & are glad they can. assault victims will confirm it's not pretty on the receiving end. and as a victim, you don't have time to wait, calmly evaluate & FEEL, much less mount an alliance of helpers. i've been there. fight or flight. usually, you're on your own. the attacker has already removed a number of your choices by his attack. my guess is that (hopefully) you've never had to take serious defensive actions. what would you choose in a split second--understanding your attacker's feelings/mental state or your life? a "simple beating" can be VERY serious--blood clots, brain jostling, organs, etc.--and this does not mean that every response warrants a gun--responsible gun owners know that & weigh it often. you are right--it's not simple and it's sad. however, no one said life would be a snap, either. plenty to learn here for all sides.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on October 11, 2006 02:27 AM
30. Marissa:
I think all of us are sorry for what happened to your friend. I agree with Jimmie and JD. Danny probably would have been all right had he been in an environment that ensured supervision of meds, treatment, support. But he wasn't. Why is that? Why are our prisons full of kids with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, undiagnosed, untreated? Because it is expensive to provide the structure, environment, and supervision necessary to support them and ensure they are not a danger to others. I'm willing to pay. Are you?

Posted by: katomar on October 11, 2006 06:58 AM
31. Here we go again, blame the gun owner.

Benjamin & marissa. Bad people, do bad things and I will not let these people hurt or kill my family or friends. Yes and even protect you!

Get over it.

Posted by: Army Medic/Vet on October 11, 2006 07:22 AM
32. Marissa,
Take some time to read a few of the bios of these young murderers. It seems that almost universally they are described as having many of the same positive attributes that you ascribe to young Danny Culotti. That does not mean that he gets a pass when he attacks another person or that having him on the streets was not a threat to others.

http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_murders/young/index.html

Posted by: JDH on October 11, 2006 08:53 AM
33. Marissa, I've known a great many people who have succeeded in life - sometimes overcoming tremendous odds in order to do so. I've also known some who lost at life's struggle. I'm sorry for you loss. However, your hyper-sensitivity doesn't not equate to a sense of callousness on our part.

Mr. Culotti forfeited his opportunity at life when he wantonly attacked another citizen. Paint the rest however you will - it changes nothing.

Rue the circumstances, lament the loss, agree that it was regrettable, and I think we can all agree.

Place blame anywhere other than Culotti himself (especially on his victim!) and you are out of line. Try to find ways to defend the Culotti's of this world and I'll consider it. Try to interfere with my right to defend me & mine and I'll do everything in my power to oppose you.

BTW: When attacked by your friend, the victim called out for help and no other citizen responded. The victim did what any self-respecting person must do - he took responsibility for his circumstances and his destiny and defended himself.

Whatever else you would like to make of this incident, it is about one thing; taking and accepting personal responsibility.

Posted by: alphabet soup on October 11, 2006 09:02 AM
34. "let's clear up a coupla things here. one, deinstitutionalization in the 60s thru the 80s was pushed just as hard by republicans such as ronald reagan."

Utterly wrong. There's a series of federal court decisions starting in the early 1960s that limited authority of states to civilly commitment the mentally ill. Some of these decisions, when you look at the facts, made sense. I recall reading one from Florida where a guy was locked up largely because his parents thought his religious beliefs were weird.

The difficulty is that once you turn a public policy question from a legislative decision (sometimes right, sometimes wrong, but at least the legislature can fix it) to a constitutional question, it gets much harder to make those fixes.

In 1967 (with more reforms in 1969), partly in response to these decisions, California's legislature passed the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act that significantly changed the civil commitment process. Governor Reagan was in support of that change--as were large numbers of psychiatrists, who thought the existing system was terribly clumsy. California was not the only state making these changes at about the same time.

Unfortunately, judges are more the problem now than the law. I've talked to psychiatrists who work in California's county mental health facilities--and they tell me that the biggest problem is not the statutory authority, but that too many judges think of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest as a docudrama, and will not confine violent mental patients except in the most severe cases. My brother, who has been schizophrenic since 1973, has repeatedly engaged in violent attacks on others, and seldom served more than 14 days for observation. Judges simply will not lock up people until they kill someone, or darn close to it.

Here's a lot more detail, for those who actually want to understand and fix the problem, instead of just scoring political points.

Posted by: Clayton E. Cramer on October 11, 2006 01:31 PM
35. "But to answer Mr. Roseberg's question as to why Daniel Culotti was even on the street - it may have had something to do with Reagan rescinding the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980, less than a year into his first term. Federal support for Community Mental Health Centers evaporated as soon as Reagan began his war on social programs."

Which had only the effect of returning responsibility for mental health to the states--who had been solely responsible for it until the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980. So why didn't Washington State--which has always had responsibility for mental health matters--do anything?

It's very fashionable to blame everything on Reagan (out of office since 1989), but why, since Washington State is run by the hard left, hasn't the state solved this problem?

Posted by: Clayton E. Cramer on October 11, 2006 01:43 PM
36. It's not just Lib judges turning complete mental incompetents who are a danger to society to prey on inocents. If you remember a few years back Lib judges ordered Pizza delivery companies to send their employees into neighborhoods that were simply not safe to enter. Liberals of the ACLU stripe are simply incapable of genuine compassion.

Posted by: JDH on October 11, 2006 02:56 PM
37. Mr. Rosenberg I am sure that your political views ofetntimes taint your sentiments about local, national and international news. But in the case of Daniel Culotti, I want to encourage you to think of his family. His mother (my first cousin) is currently in pain. Her son is dead; murdered by a man who carried a hand gun in public. Mr. Rosenberg when you have moment of free time please listen to Stevie Wonder's powerful song "My Love is With You" and pay close attention to the last words of the song: "ban the hand gun." Hopefully the sentiments stated in this song will strike a chord within you and cause you to think of the family of Daniel Culotti.

Peace,
Dr. R. Farrar

Posted by: Dr. R. Farrar on October 11, 2006 03:02 PM
38. Why don't all just we just sing Kumbyah in harmony with Dr Farrar? Words do have meanings, how about you take a minute look up the word murder before you embarrass yourself once more by misusing it in the future? Fact is Culotti was closer to being a murderer in this incident than the shooter. In fact had he lived...attempted murder would be a fitting charge to bring against him.

Posted by: JDH on October 11, 2006 04:07 PM
39. Farrar--aka alleged Doc--aka (?)

Stevie Wonder likely has a HUGE entourage of ARMED security staff and a SECURED home site like the Kennedy Compound--do YOU have the same?

Why not? Ban the hand gun--why? to make it only available for the elite who can afford it & their lawyers? sounds like you're promoting MORE class distinction/struggle.

As for Mr. C, yes--you & your extended Family have my sympathies. honestly. I hope for healing.

but--that does not erase the facts. someone was INVOLUNTAIRLY placed in danger of their life. reasons excused. that's a time for action--and survival. i expect anyone sane to vote for their own survival, not their own death.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on October 11, 2006 04:39 PM
40. "murdered"

Sounds like there's a missing gene in this clan.

Posted by: Dr. Schol on October 11, 2006 04:43 PM
41. Dear JDH, why don't you shove something sharp and painful up your butt? Maybe he was a human being and deserves respect, even if he was mentally ill. Danielle Culotti as I knew him was a bit weird at times, but all around a great guy. I express my deep sympathies to his family.

Posted by: he was a nice guy on October 11, 2006 06:27 PM
42. I challenge the alleged friends and relatives of the demised assailant aka criminal and drug addict to explain:

Why did his mother leave this person with such personal problems in Seattle to fend for himself?

What did his "cousin(s)" and "friends" do for him knowing that he had such problems before he assaulted someone?

It's ironic that his "cousin(s)" and "friends" have found this blog.

Posted by: Tyler Durden on October 11, 2006 07:02 PM
43. Lib "compassion" vs true compassion? Compassion demands thet vulnerable people be afforded protection....yes from themselves some times. Libs demanded autonomy for people who were not capable of taking care of themselves. They go on adinfinitum regarding the "rights" of people to make choices such as refusing involuntary institutionalization for those who cannot get their condition under control. They disregard statistical evidence in favor of annectodal evidence of cases that are outlyers to prove that the "systen" is totally wrong and abusive, when in fact the failures of the system are statistically rare. Throw the baby out with the bathwater - ever heard of that one?? Lib judges extrapolated a small number of well publicised failures to dismantal a system that needed REFORMS. Nobody in their right minds says that there were not failures, but to take apart an entire system that protected the vast majority of patients and replace it with an untried and theoretical replacement...WTF. They were warned, yet they proceeded. You want to see greiving on a grand scale? Talk to people who saw former patients living on the streets who were living reasonably well in WSH. It is heart wrenching. What about their lives? Huh, they were destroyed just as your friend was and just as lost to those who cared deeply about them. Many of these people did reasonably well, yes they lived in a totally structured environment, but left to make choices they were not equiped for they fell apart. Ancilllary to that some became a danger to others as well, for God's sake man if you go aroung knocking people to the ground and kicking them it is bound to result in tragidy.

Posted by: JDH on October 11, 2006 07:48 PM
44. "I challenge the alleged friends and relatives of the demised assailant aka criminal and drug addict to explain:

Why did his mother leave this person with such personal problems in Seattle to fend for himself?

What did his "cousin(s)" and "friends" do for him knowing that he had such problems before he assaulted someone?

It's ironic that his "cousin(s)" and "friends" have found this blog."

In answer to your question: it is extremely difficult for family and friends to help a violent psychotic. It is dangerous--and usually completely unproductive for the person who is mentally ill.

I wish that some of the people who have taken to saying nasty things about this guy Culotti to understand that he was insane. For all we know, he saw a tentacled monster in front of him when he attacked the shooter.

There are bad guys out there--bad guys who know right from wrong, and who just enjoy causing suffering. A person who is psychotic may do bad things, with no awareness of what he is doing. Under those circumstances, the only realistic choice for someone under this sort of life-endangering attack is to draw and fire.

Can we get back to the core problem here? Why was someone who was categories dangerously mentally ill out on the street? A few years back, a psychotic in San Francisco shot someone with a bow and arrow, taking out an eye. He was determined to be mentally ill, and ordered to a half-way house. He never went there. The criminal justice system made no attempt to figure out he was. When next he came to the attention of the police, it was because he was cutting the throats of other homeless people--and didn't particularly care that he had been arrested. After all, he was a 2000 year old vampire. What could the police do to him?

There are some good reasons why the old civil commitment system needed reform in the early 1960s. There were some perhaps isolated (perhaps not) abuses of the process. What replaced is the disaster that put Culotti's victim at risk, and got Culotti killed.

Posted by: Clayton E. Cramer on October 11, 2006 08:48 PM
45. I expected the liberal hand wringers like Benjamin would take umbrage at this act of self-defense in Seattle. I suppose that 52 year old man should have just lay there on the ground and taken a life threatening beating rather than defend himself against a "mentally ill" hoodlum?

The liberals absolve the "mentally ill" of all responsibility for their actions and treat them like they have the mental capacity of a dog incapable of volition. Any misbehavior is excused because they are "troubled" or used drugs or were improperly toilet trained.

If this "mentally ill" punk had enough mental capacity to dress and feed himself and to travel about the city, he had enough capacity to know right from wrong and to restrain himself.

Posted by: Bill K. on October 11, 2006 09:52 PM
46. #44

Are you a "cousin" or "friend" who was asked to respond? Did you personally know the deceased?

If not why are you answering? The question called for first-hand knowledge from individuals alleging to be related to or having a personal friendship with the deceased.

Theory as to his personality, traits, and actions as well as textbook cases in San Francisco can be garnered from Dr. Phil.

Posted by: Tyler Durden on October 11, 2006 11:04 PM
47. #41 Why don't I shove something sharp and painful up your butt? Perhaps because I understand that that is not what the butt is designed for. Ask any proctologist about the paraphernalia he has had to remove and perhaps this will help you to understand why I don't do that. As for "Danielle Culotti as I knew him was a bit weird at times, but all around a great guy." Trying to burn down a house full of children "a bit weird" WTF you cannot be serious. Trying to kick another person to death "a bit weird," you my friend are not playing with a full deck if that is how you would describe Mr Culotti's behavior.

Posted by: JDH on October 12, 2006 08:20 AM
48. I have know Danny sicne Ingraham High School. Danny was my friend, he was my friend that drove me crazy and made me smile always. He was just lost and confused but he was so sweet! He loved baseball, everytime he played he just lite up the park and his smile was contagious. I miss him already, I saw him a few months ago. He looked alittle bit lost but he still had a smile that coul warm your heart. I know some people reading this won't care but understand this no matter waht you say Danny is my friend and i am so proud to call him that. He died before his birthday or even before marriage and kids. He wont grow to be old or see his neices and nephews grow up, He's gone. I dont know if I will ever stop missing him but i wont have you posting mean and untrue facts about him. He was a good guy! He just didnt know it.

Posted by: michelle on October 12, 2006 09:58 AM
49. Bill K. writes:

"The liberals absolve the 'mentally ill' of all responsibility for their actions and treat them like they have the mental capacity of a dog incapable of volition. Any misbehavior is excused because they are 'troubled' or used drugs or were improperly toilet trained.

"If this 'mentally ill' punk had enough mental capacity to dress and feed himself and to travel about the city, he had enough capacity to know right from wrong and to restrain himself."

1. You are failing to understand what's going on. Culotti was probably schizophrenic. We joke about hearing voices and seeing things, but for schizophrenics, this is reality. They see, hear, and feel things that that aren't there. I had a girlfriend, many, many years ago, who had hebephrenic schizophrenia. The voices wouldn't let her go to sleep for several days--they kept screaming, "Kill yourself!" so loudly that she could not sleep.

I would encourage you to watch either A Beautiful Mind or I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, both of which do a pretty good job of conveying the confusion of schizophrenia. (Joanne Greenberg's book, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden is also quite powerful in getting across the problems of hallucinations so real to the victim that they become reality.)

Daniel Culotti, for all we know, saw himself being attacked. His senses were in error, but once you recognize that, his actions were probably logical. This is the reason that paranoid schizophrenics, once diagnosed, and especially if they have violent histories, should not be out on the streets. It is a disaster waiting to happen.

2. Your angry tone is accomplishing nothing, except making liberals feel even more smugly self-righteous about themselves than they already do (which is hard to imagine). Culotti's death was a tragedy, but the only real alternative was to let his victim risk death--or reform the civil commitment system to prevent situations like this from happening every single day in America. Liberals can be our allies on this, once they get over the One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest fantasy about mental illness.

Posted by: Clayton E. Cramer on October 12, 2006 10:06 AM
50. Clayton,
"Liberals can be our allies on this, once they get over the One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest fantasy about mental illness."

Yes this is true, and what is important too is that conservatives not fall into the "past utopia" trap. The old system sucked too, in fact it was worse than all other alternatives except all of those that were in practice or had been tried up until that time.

This is not a word game I am playing, civil commitment is needed ALONG with recognition of and elimination of abuses that were in place prior to the 60's if true compassion for the mentally ill is ever to manifest itself in the world.

IMHO and unfortunately many of the mentally ill actively resist help and compulsory treatment is unavoidable so you do have a "Civil Rights" consideration that can be an obstacle. My opinion is that Libs have used an creative and tangential arguments connected to a laissez-faire concept of what a person's "rights" are to thwart any real reforms. The demands they make are as impossible to meet as their promises are unrealistic.

Posted by: JDH on October 13, 2006 01:27 PM
51. Cramer is doing exactly the thing I described: making excuses for malicious behavior by the "mentally ill".

In a Seattle Times article Culotti sounded like real bad news including arson, prison, alcohol and drug abuse and finally assault. Contrary to the apologists who say this guy was actually the victim, as a wretched letter in the Times today contends, and unable to control himself, Culotti was able to exert enough control over himself to get released from prison in only nine months for good behavior.

These apologists for bad behavior are a slap in the face to those who have mental problems and struggle heroically to overcome them. They don't do drugs or alcohol, take their medicine and in the most important and most difficult step, re-evaluate their defective mental processes. As a result they do not go beserk on the streets.

Inside the Criminal Mind by Stanton E. Samenow is an invaluable aid to understanding the motivation of those who have no desire to control themselves or better their situtation.

Posted by: Bill K. on October 13, 2006 09:52 PM
52. According to the first article I read in the newspaper, just a blurb buried in section A...Danny Culotti had been verbally accosting a number of people over a period of time at that same location that day. Finally he attacked his final victim first threatening to kill him, and then physically attacking him, knocking him down, kicking and hitting. The victim shot him. The end.

So much for 'helpful people' coming to the rescue. Mr. Culotti could have and should have been removed by local security or local police. There was time long before it escalated to that point. There was ample warning. Something was wrong, somebody should have done something. But nobody did. Should the victim have lain down, covered his head with his hands, and waited for the beating to stop? How about the next person who got targetted? Was there any reason to believe that 'helpful people' would intervene for them?

I am sorry for Mr. Culotti's tragic life. And death. But I am not sorry at all that his victim had the right to a very effective self defense.

Posted by: Angela B. on October 15, 2006 08:54 PM
53. All I have to say is I am SO sick of people making Danny out to be a bad person. He was not. It his not his fault he is the way he is. Its not like he woke up one morning and decided to be schizophrenic. All of this media is honestly making me sick and making me wonder does anyone have a heart out there anymore. I am pretty sure that the person who wrote all these rude things about Danny wouldnt be thinking this way if it happend to them or someone in their family. Everyone is ridiculous. I know the real story of what happend to Danny and this guy that shot him did not shoot him in self defense. it was a 1 on 1 battle between the 2 of them, and the guy pulled out a gun and shot and killed an innocent man for no reason. If you are in down town seattle on a Saturday afternoon there are people around to help you out, you dont have to take the life of a sweet loveable man for NO REASON! It is sick. I really hope they find this worthless bum on the stree and charge him. He put a lot of people in pain because of his dumb choices. I think people need to pay some respect to Danny and take the time to learn a little more about him before they start talking a lot of shit about him. Anyone who disagrees with this can please contact me jcwrenchey@gmail.com

Danny, You were like a brother to me and always will be I love you to death and I promise we wont stop until we catch your murderer and get him charged with life in prison. He took your life and now his needs to taken too. I will never forget your gorgeous smile and those amazing eyes. I love you Danny and I will miss you dearly.

Posted by: Jennifer Wrenchey on October 15, 2006 09:34 PM
54. If you don't mind me asking, Ms Wrenchey....how is it you know 'the real story of what happened'? Were you there? Did you interview witnesses? What about those other people who had been accosted that day? Given our absolutely gun-hating culture in Seattle, *why* would the Seattle Times not condemn the shooter instantly out of hand and put him on public trial merely for possession of the weapon?

For heavens' sake, if you know something actually factual - if you were a witness present at the time, say - take it to the police and give them actual evidence. But merely coming here to tell us that you know 'the truth' and everything we hear to the contrary is a lie....well, that's not useful at all.

Neither is the mention of Mr. Culotti's eyes.

Posted by: Angela B. on October 15, 2006 09:47 PM
55. Why, you ask? Simple. If he had stein or berg at the end of his name we could steal someone else's land and let him live there so he was no longer a threat to anyone.
He was there because your government really doesn't care what happens to your people...DUH

Posted by: Abu-Ben Pisslamik on October 16, 2006 07:42 AM
56. Danielle Alan Culotti was laid to rest Octoer 14,2006 in federal way.

He will be missed a great deal and if you were at the funeral you would have seen just how big of an impact Danny was to those around him.

He was my friend, my "christmas morning", my everything in so many ways.
He doesnt deserve this or any of the bad publicity he has been given.

He loved his family, friends, and yes baseball. His smile could make you melt and I do agree with jennifer his eyes was enchanting.

What people who have never met him need to understand is that you cannot believe everything in the news, or what you hear, because it doesnt ring true. Of course they will make him seem like a mental but understand with every man or woman there are faults no one is perfect. He may or maynot have made a mistake but there are plenty of things that everybody has done in there life that they can't take back.

Although I am mad at the person that decided to take my friends life, understand that he has to deal with that when his judgement day comes he has to live with that not anyone else.

Let Danny rest. He doesnt deserve any of the bad publicity he is getting.

To Danny I will always love you! your "My Danny".
To his family My deepest Sympathy.


Danielle Alan Culotti
November 25,1980 - October 7,2006

Posted by: michelle on October 16, 2006 08:35 AM
57. My name is Liz Culotti and Danny was my cousin. I have been writing emails all week to Mr. Rosenberg and to a Mr. Sharkansky, who apparently runs the Sound Politics website, to ask them to please remove this article about my cousin as well as all of the comments following it. So far I have received no response. I am directing this comment at you; you who have ignored my request all week, you who are responsible for this website and this article.

Danny's mother, my aunt, has not seen this website yet, and she doesn't need to. I had not seen it until a couple of days ago, although I had heard about it, because I knew that it would only make me angry. But my aunt called me the other evening upset because she had heard people were writing horrible things about Danny, her son, on the internet, so I looked for her... and this site is what I found.

Most of the people who have taken the liberty to discuss the life and death of Danny on this site did not know my cousin, do not know what he struggled with, and do not know what happened the day he was shot. Danny's family loved him, we are all devastated by the loss of someone so close to our hearts, and most of what has been posted about him is just plain disrespectful. It hurts me to know that when people (his mother included) google his name, this site comes up. Please, out of respect for Danny, who is not here to speak for himself, and for his family, who is mourning a beautiful young man, remove this article. Or at least have the decency to respond to my emails.


Thank you.
Sincerely,
Liz Culotti

Posted by: LC on October 25, 2006 02:36 PM
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