HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Man Sent Back To The U.S. With Catheter Still Attached
Pubdate: Thu, 13 Oct 2005
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 The Province


Officials seize fugitive in Vancouver hospital

SEATTLE -- A U.S. army veteran who fled to Canada to avoid prosecution
because he grew marijuana to help control chronic pain was yanked from
a hospital by Canadian authorities and, with a catheter still
attached, turned over to U.S. officials who provided him with no
medical treatment for five days, his lawyer said.

Steven Tuck, 38, was still fitted with the urinary catheter when he
shuffled into U.S. District Court for a detention hearing yesterday,
said his lawyer, Douglas Hiatt.

Judge James Donohue ordered Tuck temporarily released so he could be
taken to a medical centre for treatment.

"The guy comes into the jail with a catheter sticking out the end of
his [penis], you'd think they'd do something about it," Hiatt said.

"This is totally inhumane. He's been tortured for days for no

Tuck is a veteran who says he suffered debilitating injuries in the
late 1980s when his parachute failed to open during a jump. He spent a
year at Walter Reed Army Medical Center undergoing surgeries to fuse
discs in his back, Hiatt said.

His injuries were exacerbated in a car crash that killed his
brother-in-law in 1990. Over the years, he has had more than a dozen
surgeries, his friends said.

In 2001, he was living in California when his marijuana grow operation
was raided for the second time.

He fled to B.C. to avoid prosecution, and sought asylum status, which
was recently denied.

Last Friday, he checked himself in to St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver
because he had a cyst on his prostate and was having difficulty
urinating, H iatt said.

Richard Cowan, a friend of Tuck's who runs the website, said he was with Tuck at the hospital when Canadian
authorities arrived and arrested Tuck on a departure order.

"I would not believe it unless I had seen it," Cowan

"They sent people in to arrest him while he was on a gurney. They took
him out of the hospital in handcuffs, put him in an SUV, and drove him
to the border."

A spokesman with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Vancouver said
he could not immediately comment on the case.

Tuck is charged federally with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Donohue released him on the condition that he face the charge in the
Northern District of California upon his release from the hospital.
The U.S. attorney's office in Seattle did not oppose his release.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt Elrod