By SARAH LANGBEIN
Scripps Howard News Service
November 09, 2005
The man who's become nationally known as the guy glued to a Home Depot toilet seat reported a similar incident more than a year ago, according to the town of Nederland's former director of operations.
Ron Trzepacz said from his New York home that Dougherty came to him in the summer of 2004 with the same allegation: that his rear had been glued to a toilet seat.
In the 2004 incident, Dougherty, 57, said he was able to pull himself from the seat in the town's visitors center bathroom, Trzepacz told the Rocky Mountain News.
His verbal complaint made it no further than Trzepacz, who said he personally inspected the bathroom and found no adhesive residue and "no indication that anything had been on the toilet seat."
No police report was ever filed and no medical professionals were called to the site, said Trzepacz, who worked for the town for 13 years.
Dougherty - who is well-known in the small mountain town that hosts a festival dedicated to a dead frozen man - and his lawyer, Mark Cohen, could not be reached for comment. The two were in New York on Monday for a live appearance on the Today Show.
In an interview with Today's Katie Couric, Dougherty said he was glued to a toilet seat in the Louisville Home Depot for 20 to 25 minutes in October 2003 before help arrived.
Dougherty claims in a civil lawsuit, filed late last month, that store employees ignored his calls for help and failed to maintain the bathrooms by not stocking paper toilet seat covers.
He's suing for $3 million.
On Oct. 30, 2003, Dougherty said he had a "sour stomach" and rushed to a bathroom stall in the Home Depot. He reached for a paper cover for the seat but found none, the suit said.
Needing to use the restroom urgently, Dougherty sat down anyway.
When he attempted to stand up, he couldn't.
"His buttocks and legs burned from attempting to get up, and he realized that he was glued to the toilet seat," the lawsuit said.
Dougherty's suit said he began to panic and thought he was having a heart attack before hearing a store employee enter the restroom.
He reported calling out to the man, who reported the predicament to the head clerk.
But the lawsuit said the clerk did nothing because she "believed it to be a hoax."
About 15 minutes later, another store employee and a friend of Dougherty's arrived in the restroom. They called an ambulance.
But to Dougherty's horror, medical personnel weren't able to loosen him from the seat.
Instead, emergency workers unbolted "the whole toilet seat and lifted it up with me in it out of the stall and then laid me on a stretcher," Dougherty said on the Today Show. "About that point, I had passed out, and the ambulance crew had jumped on top of me and had a difficult time finding a pulse and - and very little shallow breathing, if they could find that."
Dougherty said the events of the day have caused him pain, humiliation and financial loss.
Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service
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