Tag Archives: Sports

Roseland (IN) Police Chief Uses Position to Influence Child Custody; Drives Unsafely with Child in Police Vehicle

The following post was shared with the Cop Block Network by Jennifer Szymarek, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

In this submission she details how her ex-boyfriend Aaron Catanzarite, the town marshal (police chief) of  Roseland (IN), has used his position as a police officer to influence custody hearings between him and her. In addition, she maintains he has also used his influence to violate their shared custody agreement and prevent her from seeing their daughter.

Jennifer also discusses an accident that Catanzarite was involved with in which their daughter was injured and now has a scar on her face as a result. (You can see a news report on that accident here.) She accuses Catanzarite of not properly securing her daughter’s child seat and also of driving unsafely, both of which she says contributed to the injuries her daughter suffered in the accident. (Embedded below are two videos Ms. Szymarek provided that show Catanzarite picking up their daughter and placing her in the front seat of his police vehicle.)

Date of Incident: March 15, 2016
Officer Involved: Town Marshal Aaron Catanzarite
Department Involved: Roseland Police Department
Department Phone No.: (574) 272-6241

“Jennifer Szymarek (My Story)”

My ex-boyfriend, Aaron Catanzarite, the town marshal for the Roseland Police Department and who lives in South Bend, Indiana, forced me to sign, through tears and a shaky hand, after I had refused for over a-week-and-a-half, a ‘Custody/Stipulation Agreement Order’ in the kitchen of his residence atop the stove, without any legal counsel present, on February 27, 2011.

In the ‘Stipulation Agreement Order’ the document stated that Mr. Catanzarite had ‘Physical Custody’ of our daughter and that I, Jennifer Szymarek, and him, both, shared “Joint Legal Custody.” However, to this day Mr. Catanzarite has never once exercised that right to include me in any matter of my daughter’s future, which is illegal, along with many other matters which he ignores. I continued to live with Mr. Catanzarite back then until March 10, 2012, after signing this document, which I strongly did not agree with, only for the sake of my daughter, Keira.

Later in the year, I was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, an illness which causes muscle weakness, after a horrific fall that led to a massive head injury and also led to my diagnosis in July of 2011. And then, eight months later, Aaron sternly stated, “I can’t take it anymore,” which led to him kicking me out on March 10, 2012, and, of course, not allowing me to take my daughter with me, even though it was my Saturday to take her.

At that point in time, the schedule was set up to where I practically, on paper, had my daughter every night except for Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, to go along with my existing Brown Mackie College schedule. So, even though I was the individual with the muscle illness, and the person who was already fighting to get on disability and changing some things in my life, Mr. Catanzarite thought his life was changing so much more than mine that he would just take my child, even though I knew, for a fact, due to him allowing his ex-wife to ‘kidnap-my-child-several-times-before history,’ that my daughter would just be living at his ex-wife’s house, and would be raised my his ex-wife, as usual.

Every since my daughter, Keira, had been born, I was still always taking care of her on my own 24 hours a-day, while he continued to be gone 24/7, like usual. In fact, the first ten months of Keira’s life I had my own apartment that she and I, both, shared, without Mr. Catanzarite, which he failed to mention in court during our trial ending August 21, 2013.

Our ‘Custody Trial’ was complete perjury committed by Mr. Aaron Catanzarite between him and his seven ‘family’ witnesses, including one witness who was his ‘boss’ from Roseland. I mean, I seriously thought that you were not allowed to have family members testify.

Then, when I tried to put my witnesses on the stand to testify every single one was thrown-out for no ‘good-real reason.’ I had my dad (because I was living with him, but his testimony was thrown-out anyway) and one longtime friend (but her testimony was thrown-out, too). I was told by the probate judge/court, due to Mr. Catanzarite’s attorney (Mr. Vincent Campitti) that we were all talking about the case in the lobby, which, of course, was a flat-out lie.

Mr. Catanzarite’s family was coached, every time one individual walked in. I believe that the trial should have been, and still should be thrown-out for countless reasons. It was just a way to criticize me and to makeup situations that never occurred. But I never once got the chance to say anything bad about Mr. Aaron Catanzarite.

My daughter will be eight on July 2nd. Ever since she was four, she has suffered emotional abuse from being tossed around constantly, as well as being forced to lie by her father and his ex-wife, Kelly Catanzarite. She gets picked up from school and then usually goes straight to the house belonging to Mr. Catanzarite’s ex-wife. Then maybe to Mr. Catanzarite’s residence later at night.

Since the parenting time schedule was changed in the fall of 2012, I have only every Wednesday and every other weekend with my daughter, so it makes it pretty hard to spend much time with Keira and to really be her mother. In 2014, I actually was allowed to have my daughter for two-weeks at a time for the summer, but I have been unable to ever get that again.

Mr. Catanzarite uses excuse after excuse, I truly feel, with the court system when it comes to getting his way. He signs Keira up for five-plus extracurricular-sports-activities per summer without even asking me, which is against our ‘Signed Sports Agreement’ and expects me to take her to every single event, knowing that I rarely have any time with my child. Last summer, I refused to take her and he tried to see if there was any legal action that he could take against me. He failed, but he thinks he can always overpower me and he still has my child due to the court’s failure to properly hear me out.

On March 15, 2016, Mr. Aaron Catanzarite placed my daughter in the front passenger seat of his Roseland police SUV. (I have taken him to court on this issue, but I have lost the fight.) She was in a child restraint seat but it was not tethered down. He also decided not to wear his seat beat, which he has done repeatedly over the years. He also was apparently going over the speed limit. (I do not know the exact speed, but he also does this repeatedly).

All these irresponsible actions of negligence resulted in a car crash that seriously could have been prevented and also hit two other vehicles, injuring another family. Mr. Catanzarite never put his foot down on the break peddle; the SUV only finally came to a stop when it hit a wall. This is a guy that insurance companies will not even insure, so he does not have his own personal vehicle. And he will never have his own personal vehicle.

Roseland Town Marshal Aaron Catanzarite AccidentI would know, because I knew him, personally. I never have approved of my child riding around in a police vehicle. I have always been a good and decent mother to my child. I am Keira’s mother and I have always been. I own my own vehicle. I always have owned my own vehicle. I have a very good driving record. I always have had a good driving record.

My daughter’s father has used his ‘Cop Thing’ to hurt my child since 2011. This year, when he had his car crash, she ended up with a scar from her forehead down to her left eye, as a reminder of how irresponsible and negligent he will always be. And when the car crash occurred, I was not even allowed to take my own daughter home from the hospital. Mr. Catanzarite’s ex-wife was instead. Aaron wanted her to and the hospital allowed that over me, the mother, even though I am on the hospital records.

Now my daughter has suffered physical abuse. The system needs to get over the badge for my daughter’s sake.

As of right now, my daughter spends most of her time at Mr. Catanzarite’s ex-wife’s house, which is illegal. Mr. Catanzarite has yet to change his legal address, which is also illegal. He does not drive, which clearly leaves an open question mark. I am not aware if he even has a license or not, another open question mark. I am sure he does not have a vehicle, due to the fact that he is unable to afford auto insurance, so irresponsible there.

All these issues need to be addressed, but no one seems to want to address these issues with me. It is even difficult for me to take my daughter on ‘Just One Short Summer Vacation’ without it becoming an issue, due to me not getting the two-weeks that I asked for in ‘Summer Parenting Time,’ which was not asking too much. I did not know that it was legal to ‘Commit Perjury in Court’ and to ‘Share Custody with an Ex-Wife’ when there is a ‘Perfectly Good and Decent Mother in a Child’s Life with All the Time in the World.’

– Jennifer Szymarek

Former Chicago Bears Superbowl QB Jim McMahon Urges NFL Allow Medical Marijuana For Players

Jim McMahon Medical Marijuana NFL

Jim McMahon, the Superbowl XX winning quarterback from the 1985 Chicago Bears, a team which is often considered one of the best all-time teams and arguably the best defense in the history of the NFL, has joined the long list of people advocating for the medical use of marijuana.

Currently, McMahon is battling symptoms attributed to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), such as early dementia, severe headaches, memory loss and depression, all of which have been attributed to the effects of multiple concussions and for obvious reasons are especially prevalent among people involved in contact sports.

Even in states in which medical marijuana has already been legalized, the National Football League prohibits its use among players. Anyone testing positive for marijuana use, regardless of local laws (even in Washington and Colorado, which both allow recreational use), are subject to punishments that increase with each instance.

McMahon made his statements advocating for marijuana as an alternative to opiates for pain management while appearing as part of a panel discussion by retired NFL players at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo. The panel was held at Manhattan’s Javits Convention Center.

Via the Sporting News:

The panel, according to the New York Daily News, was moderated by former Giants defensive lineman Leonard Marshall and included former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, former Broncos tight end Nate Jackson, former Broncos wide receiver Charlie Adams and former Jaguars offensive tackle Eben Britton.

McMahon, who is dealing with early dementia, severe headaches, memory loss and depression — all symptoms associated with too many concussions — believes he would be healthier now if he was allowed to use marijuana instead of pills during his playing career. Marijuana is an effective pain killer and less harmful than opiods, McMahon said.

“Hundreds of thousands of people are dying from [painkillers] and there’s not one case of people dying from the hemp plant,” McMahon said.

Britton added, “Juxtaposing my experiences with pharmaceutical drugs like Vicodin and Percocet, that made me angry and irritable, frustrated, didn’t get rid of any of the pain, made it difficult to sleep, increased my heart rate and made me feel crazy. On the other side of that there’s cannabis that helped me sleep, put me into a healing state of being where I was relieved from stress and anxiety as well as feeling the pain relief.”

Jackson, who appeared on an edition of HBO’s Real Sports that dealt with the same issue, added, “The owners of these teams are, by and large, wealthy men who are older and do not understand that this is a pretty innocuous substance.”

As is also mentioned in the Sporting News article, this offseason the Baltimore Ravens cut Eugene Monroe, a former first round pick who has campaigned publicly for the acceptance of medical marijuana in the NFL. Many people, including Monroe, have attributed that move to his strong advocacy for cannabis use, although the Ravens have denied that is the case.

Jim McMahon Superbowl XX MoonMcMahon, who was known as much for his flamboyant attitude and defiance of arbitrary or silly rules as he was for his play on the field, is no stranger to alternative medical practices or controversy. In one of the more famous photos from the build up to Superbowl XX, he mooned a helicopter while wearing a headband that said “ACUPUNCTURE” on it.

He later explained that he was just showing the media where he had received treatment for an injury he had received in a game the previous week. (The headband derived from an incident earlier in the season where he was fined $5,000 for having an Adidas label on his head band during a game and subsequently wore a headband with “ROZELLE” written on it in reference to the league commissioner, who had fined him.)

Jim McMahon Rozelle HeadbandIt’s silly and contradictory that the NFL approves the use of opiates and all kinds of other horrible pharmaceutical medications for players if they have a prescription (and sometimes without even having one), but prohibits the same medical rights for cannabis patients, even in locations where it can be legally prescribed by a doctor. In fact, it’s not at all unusual for players with lingering injuries to receive shots that numb the affected area in order to play during a game. Stories have even emerged of players receiving such shots in the locker room during a game in which they were injured.

So, it’s clearly not a case of the NFL being opposed to drug use in general or a concern for the safety or health of players. Their refusal to accept that playing in the NFL and improper care for concussions in the past increased the chances of players developing CTE alone is proof of that not being true.

The least they could do is give those players the option of using a safe and non-addictive option to treat the pain is inherent to the game. Being that there are different laws in the different cities which have NFL teams, there’s a small complication in the fact that some players would have access to legal medical marijuana while others wouldn’t because they state they live in still living in the dark ages.

However, in reality, all they would have to do is remove it from the list of drugs which they test for. Legally, they are not under any obligation to test for drugs, whether they are illegal or otherwise. Players certainly make enough money that they could set up residence during the offseason within the states that do allow its use for the next four or five years or so until it’s made legal not just for medical use, but for recreational use as well, nationwide. (That writings on the wall in big letters.)