Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Cone throw may bring legal action



By Janice Morse
Enquirer staff writer

WEST CHESTER TWP. - A Liberty Township woman will decide what action she might take against Township Administrator Dave Gully after a medical consultation, her lawyer said Tuesday.

Susan Kelch, 48, filed a police report alleging that Gully threw a rubber traffic cone at her as she left the Sept. 27 rally for President Bush at Voice of America Park. The cone struck Kelch in the back and she may have suffered a broken vertebra, said her lawyer, Jack Garretson.

Police Sgt. Erik Niehaus said police have finished their investigation after interviewing about a half-dozen witnesses.

"The victim has been referred to the courts to press any further charges," he said. "We're waiting for our victim to make a decision on how she wants to proceed."

Kelch did not undergo immediate treatment and filed her report a day after the incident, Niehaus said.

But since then, Kelch has suffered "significant pain and problems," Garretson said.

Kelch's doctor referred her to a specialist for an examination, Garretson said. "The severity of the injury could determine the direction the case goes," he said.

West Chester Township trustees have hired attorneys from the Millikin & Fitton law firm at $200 an hour to represent Gully.

His lawyers, in a faxed statement, said: "Mr. Gully in no way intended to injure Susan Kelch during the rally. ... He was instead trying to protect Ms. Kelch and two other ladies from what he perceived to be a potentially dangerous situation as the people and vehicles were exiting the premises. He has apologized to Ms. Kelch for any injuries she may have received as a result of the accident."

E-mail jmorse@enquirer.com




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