Paramedics leave body of patient in his driveway

Herald staff

ASHFORD — The body of a 76-year-old man who died from a heart attack en route to a hospital was returned to his home near Mount Rainier and left in the driveway by paramedics.

Charles Bardsley was being transported to a hospital in Puyallup, about 50 miles away, when he died on Oct. 2. The paramedics backtracked and deposited his body in the driveway, where it remained for eight hours.

The paramedics said they didn’t want to take the body inside because Bardsley’s 73-year-old wife suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and appeared confused.

"We expected to find an ambulance there. But he was lying right in the driveway where someone could have run over him," said Bardsley’s daughter-in-law, Cindy Bardsley, who arrived at the home with her husband, Dennis, about three hours after Charles Bardsley’s body had been left.

Lewis County Coroner Terry Wilson said the handling of the body left him mystified.

"We have had people die on the way to the hospital before, and they were always taken to the hospital until local enforcement could arrive," he said.

"Then, the body would be released to the funeral home. The body is never, ever taken back to the house. That is totally unacceptable."

The paramedics from Parkland, just south of Tacoma, were employed by Pierce County.

Charles Bardsley’s body was not removed until eight hours after he had been left in the driveway, on the order of a deputy Lewis County coroner.

  • Alleged con man arrested: An alleged Seattle con man named on the U.S. Marshals Service’s "15 Most Wanted" list was arrested during his wedding rehearsal in San Diego, the U.S. Marshals Service said Saturday. James Rubin Rowe, 39, disappeared from Seattle in March, leaving behind a wife of a year and allegedly defrauding several people, including a Microsoft executive who backed him to build three ski shops. He was arrested Friday under the alias Mike Grogan at a high-profile wedding rehearsal in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla. He was wearing a Super Bowl ring when he was taken into custody, the Marshals Service said. He was being held in the San Diego County Jail and was expected to be returned to Seattle, the service said. Rowe was charged in Seattle on Sept. 26 with two counts of bank fraud and one count of wire fraud. An earlier indictment, originally filed under seal May 27, 1998, accuses him of three counts of false statement in obtaining a firearm, three counts of impersonation of a federal agent and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He had also posed as a former New England Patriots football player, a professional skier, a Nietzschean scholar and a former U.S. Navy SEAL, the Marshals Service said.

  • Gateses give to school fund: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated $2 million to an endowment inspired by former Seattle Public Schools Superintendent John Stanford. The gift to the John Stanford Endowment Fund was announced at a private fund-raiser Friday night at the home of Seattle School Board Vice President Don Nielsen. Stanford, who died of leukemia two years ago, had envisioned a $25 million private endowment for teacher training, student achievement, literacy and leadership for the Seattle School District. The fund is now $3 million. It is hoped the fund will raise $22 more within the next five years. In March, the Gates Foundation, founded and endowed by the Microsoft co-founder, gave Seattle schools a five-year, $26 million grant.

  • 72-year-old woman’s home a hotbed of illegal activity, police say: Police raided a home and arrested a 72-year-old woman who allegedly let her house become a haven for illegal activities. Neighbors said there had been one shooting, numerous suspected drug deals and 75 calls for police help at Eleanor E. White’s home since 1994. Activities at the house have become a target of neighborhood outrage, prompting calls to the mayor’s office, community meetings and a search for ways to board up the home under nuisance abatement laws. White was booked Thursday into the Spokane County Jail on charges of letting her home be used for drug purposes, a felony. She was released on her own recognizance Friday. Police SWAT teams had twice raided White’s house in the six months before Thursday’s raid. Before each search, officers with the department’s special investigations unit purchased crack cocaine from people inside the home, court documents say. On each occasion, White contended she did not know her home was being used for drug deals, the court records indicate.
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