Motel Owner Claims his Elderly Parents Were Completely Happy Tied to Their Bed Lying in Their Own Feces

Macomb County, MI Eric Gala loves his parents and would never abuse or neglect them.

That’s what his attorney, Tim Barkovic, said of the Fraser motel owner accused of tying his elderly parents to a bed or chair and keeping them in an unsanitary room attached to the motel’s main office.

“He vehemently denies these allegations. He cares for and loves his parents,” Barkovic said Monday after Gala’s preliminary exam was adjourned until Dec. 20 in 39th District Court. “My client is absolutely not guilty.”

Fraser public safety officials said they responded to the Flamingo Motel on Groesbeck on Nov. 6 on an abuse complaint from a former employee.

They said they found the couple, ages 92 and 78, in a dark room filled with flies, lying in their own feces and urine. The mother, 78, had a strap around her waist that was tied to a chair next to the bed, Lt. Dan Kolke had said. He did not know how the father, 92, was being held, but said he was in the same bed.

The couple also was tied to a chair when watching TV, and an inside door handle was taken off so they couldn’t leave, Kolke had said. He said police believe Gala did not want to put his parents in a nursing home.

Gala, 55, of Lenox Township, is charged with two counts of second-degree vulnerable adult abuse, a four-year felony.

Barkovic said the father, who founded the motel, “will tell the world that he was not mistreated, that he and his wife were more than perfectly cared for by his son, his (son’s) wife and grandson and countless other employees of the Flamingo Motel.”

“This amounts to senior citizen kidnapping,” Barkovic said.

Barkovic said Gala’s father wanted to stay at the motel, where he was comfortable. He said Gala’s mother had to be restrained to a bed or a chair because she has severe dementia and would wander away.

Barkovic said the elderly parents were fed three meals a day; the mother had her diaper changed on a regular basis, and their room was cleaned on a daily basis.

He said the city wants the motel closed and that the charges are “false and fabricated.”

Kolke said “that’s absolutely not true.”

“The case speaks for itself,” he said. “Any sane person would see that’s abuse.”

Such bravado in the face of damning evidence.  This is my type of lawyer, I love a vigorous defense even when the chips are stacked against you.  One thing he’s got going for him is the parents’ statements on his behalf (with at least one suffering from dementia and thus of questionable reliability).  But even so, I don’t think you can acquiesce to abuse as a protected class (i.e. minors and the elderly).   
This is how I imagine the motel, circa 1989.


Largest Abandoned Factory in the World: The Packard Factory, Detroit

Sometimes Interesting

Packard was once a premier nameplate in the United States, mentioned in the same breath as Duesenberg, Cadillac, Pierce-Arrow, and Lincoln. The crown jewel for Packard was the Packard Factory, a 3.5 million square-foot complex sprawling across 35 acres.

In the years following World War II, the Packard Motor Car Company struggled to keep pace with the larger automakers that had been buying-up the smaller companies to form “the Big Three.” Those not part of the Big Three had to merge to stay competitive: Kaiser and Willys formed Kaiser-Willys, Nash and Hudson formed American Motors, and Packard joined forces with Studebaker. The experiment was short-lived, however, and Packard plunged into bankruptcy soon after.

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Weekend Soundtrack: Macho Man Randy Savage

I’m not kidding when I say that I listened to this song about 6 times in a row before I realized what I had done.  It’s addictive in a good way. And if you’re not a WWE(F) you’ll at least recognize Macho Man as the energetic Slim Jim pusher from your childhood (What the hell is in a slim jim? It’s certainly not jerky).

I like this song because it’s the little black dress of music, I can listen to it while in the shower, at the gym, while studying, and maybe even as wedding entrance music.



Where have Group Gymnastics Been All my Life?


Normally performance athletics such as gymnastics and synchronized swimming don’t interest me unless there is an American flag plastered on their uniforms and an Olympic medal at stake.  But some of the balancing acts this trio were able to come up with were fascinating and at the same time looked a extremely painful.  But that’s because my hamstrings have been killing me ever since I took on the Jean-Claude Van Damme challenge.

I’ll give them credit for making the competition a bit interesting in the Olympic off-season, but I have a suggestion that might get group gymnastics onto some scheduled ESPN2 programming.  Instead of just one team performing alone with judges, send out multiple teams on the mat at once, Step Up 2 style.  The judges can compare more closely, plus it adds an element of gamesmanship that we don’t see in performance athletics.

What do you think?


Izzone needs to be Put on the Payroll

EAST LANSING — No. 2 Michigan State was clinging to a two-point lead in the second half Friday when Columbia committed shot-clock violations on back-to-back, crunch-time possessions.

The clear cause was the Izzone purposely mistiming its collective chants of the shot clock winding down and leaving extra seconds as the buzzer sounded. With Cory Osetkowski and Alex Rosenberg left holding the ball on team turnovers, the befuddled Ivy Leaguers failed to score again as the Spartans won 62-53.

It’s no secret that basketball fans do this all the time (I’m looking at you Durham), but it rarely works so perfectly.

If we’re putting the Izzone on the payroll we don’t offer straight salary, can’t have them mailing it in against Northwestern.  We’ll make it incentive based, for example, the single shot clock violation would net each Izzone member a small payout (Spartan Cash?) and a second would double that payout. If the team loses, you’re all fired!


Andre Ellington’s dreads, anyone?

Andre Ellington — Fantasy points: 1.

Dreads lost — several.

As Ellington was tackled by Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end, Jason Babin, during the Cardinals-Jaguars game this Sunday, Babin popped up with nothing other than Ellington’s dreads, a whole handful. These dreads were not your typical, artificial hair dreads, according to ESPN, they were grown for 5 years with Ellington’s real hair (ouch!). As the Cardinals VP of media relations, Mark Dalton, tweeted that Ellington was reunited with his long lost dreads after the game:

Posted in a tweet by Cardinals' vice president of media relations, Mark Dalton

Posted in a tweet by Cardinals’ vice president of media relations, Mark Dalton

However, dreads lost or not, I’m benching you next game Ellington. 1 point?!

Maybe you’ll do better if I pull out the rest of your dreads?

…Just a thought.


Auburn Reaffirms my Consistent use of the Hail Mary in Video Games, beats Georgia

After blowing a 27-7 lead, Auburn made a last ditch hail mary attempt on 4th and 18 with :25 seconds remaining on the clock. First things first, watch the video.

How many deaths via heart attack do you think this play caused?  At least two in the stadium alone.

I both hate and love these plays. I love it because Auburn’s dream of an SEC championship remains alive and because it encompasses everything the game means in one play.  I hate it because it was a catch off a tip, a one in a hundred type play that you draw up at the end of a long practice (“Throw it four yards too short and hope the defender bats it up instead of down!”) and is essentially an 80-20 split on luck and skill.