EASTON, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland State Police have launched an internal investigation into whether troopers teased a Marydel man after his boat fell off his trailer on Route 50 earlier this month. The man, Chris Bailey, later took his own life.
Jane Bailey claimed that troopers were laughing at her son and took video after they responded to a report saying his boat had fallen off the pick-up trailer on May 18 along Route 50.
“Four Maryland state troopers showed up. He asked them to give him a hand lifting it so he could get it out of the road. The laughed at him. The surrounded him and pulled out their cell phones taking videos and laughing at him posting on Facebook live the redneck kid trying to lift a boat,” Bailey wrote on Facebook.
Bailey said Chris had spent the entire winter fixing up the boat and dreamed of being a successful crabber. On the 18th, he took the boat down to Dorchester County on his new truck and went out to crab hoping to fulfill orders he took for Memorial Day weekend. But on his way back home, his boat fell off his trailer into the middle of Route 50. Bailey said when the troopers showed up they laughed instead of helping her son and told him to call a towing company — who demanded $3500 on the spot to tow the boat.
But the owner of the towing company said that that money wasn’t demanded on the spot.
“At no time did my operator request payment prior to rendering services and at no point did we demand payment of $3,500 dollars,” Andrew Bradshaw, operations manager of Bradshaw towing, said.
“Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Chris Bailey. Mr. Bailey worked the water and was proud of his efforts as a Chesapeake Bay Waterman. His loss is one nobody would ever seek. Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Chris Bailey. Mr. Bailey worked the water and was proud of his efforts as a Chesapeake Bay Waterman. His loss is one nobody would ever seek,” Bradshaw Towing said in a Facebook post.
Lt. Timothy Corbin, commander of the Easton Barrack, is leading the investigation after they heard about Jane Bailey’s Facebook post.
A preliminary investigation indicated that three troopers responded to the call about Bailey’s boat on May 18, police said. One trooper spoke to Bailey, while two others directed traffic around the boat.
“The trooper investigating took pictures of the scene in the event a crash report needed to be filed. There is no evidence at this time that troopers posted these pictures or any videos to social media,” state police said in a statement.
“An independent witness has indicated all troopers on the scene were professional and no one was making fun of or laughing at Mr. Bailey. The boat was reportedly 26’ long and full of water. There was an attempt by troopers and others on the scene to move the boat to try and get a tow strap under it, but that was impossible. It has been determined Mr. Bailey called the tow service, which was already en route to the scene when the first trooper arrived,” state police added.
Chris Bailey took his life Sunday after a series of bad luck, but his mother said he wept to friends about how the state troopers laughed at him.
“I want them to hear the whole story of how my son hung himself Sunday morning because of his perceived humiliation,” Bailey said. ” I want them to learn from seeing my distraught eyes – that a simple act of kindness to kid who did nothing wrong could have changed the outcome.”
State police said they are “committed to serving and protecting the citizens” of Maryland and that the accusations will be thouroughly investigated.
Note: Story was updated at 3 p.m. with a statement from Bradshaw Towing