At 9:25 a.m. last Thursday, July 8, eighty-year-old John Curwood walked away from the Pike County Correctional Facility in the middle of a downpour, as thunder boomed and lightning cracked.
He was wearing his pajama top and carried his belongings in a black plastic bag. He’d been locked up since Jan. 8.
After leaving jail, Curwood, an Air Force veteran with Alzheimer’s disease, enjoyed breakfast sandwiches and coffee at Ryan’s Deli in Lords Valley with his daughter Joy McCann.
Their next stop was a hotel near Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown, Pa. Curwood took some time out for a shave and a haircut before flying early the next day to McCann’s home in Clearwater, Florida.
Pike County sent him a bill for more than $7,000 to cover the expenses he incurred during his incarceration. He will also pay Florida $54 a month in probation and supervision fees until the minimum probation date of Jan. 8, 2024 — that’s $2,214 for 41 months. Pike County would have charged three times that amount for probation and supervision.
Florida charges clients of public defenders a reduced rate, while Pike County doesn’t take financial status into consideration.
Curwood served six months of an original two-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to stalking; threatening his wife, Rosemary Curwood, and stepdaughter, Erin Barboe; tire slashing; and violating the terms of a protection order.
McCann told the court last month that her father had always been an exemplary citizen but that he suffers from “long list of medical issues,” including clinical depression, Alzheimer’s Disease, and dementia.
She asked that her father serve the remainder of his sentence or probation in a Veteran’s Administration assisted living home. However, McCann was unable to find a VA facility willing to take him.
In her letter, she expressed concern for her father’s health and safety, saying that he hit his ear on a heavy iron bedframe in April and that he did not, despite his high risk of harm from Covid, receive his first vaccine until April 14.