Nashville TV News 4 WSMV Reporter Nancy Amons Broadcasts a Blatantly False and Politically Motivated Attack Piece that Amons Knows is Untrue

Acting in collusion with employees Elizabeth Setty Reeve,  April Manicino, Cal Smith and Martha Lafferty at NDRN’s Nashville affiliate office, Amons deliberately concocted a phony news story to harass an ideological enemy of NDRN who has consistently refused to back down to NDRN on the issue of restraint policy.  Her friends at NDRN had received a “Cease and Desist” letter from HWC just months ago for their practice of using the press to bully and silence my company.  Ms. Amons has become NDRN’s latest puppet reporter acting at their behest and direction. The fact is, NDRN does not believe that restraint should ever be used no matter how dangerous the resident is and that people who work in facilities with the most challenging residents deserve to be punching bags.

The real story here is how Amons abused her position as a
to pursue an ideological enemy of NDRN

What’s wrong with Amons’ story?
  1. HWC’s proprietary holding method is neither controversial nor unsafe.  It has been approved by hundreds of medical practitioners and forensic authorities throughout the United States, including Dr. Michael Baden.  It is in use at some of the finest agencies and facilities throughout the U.S. since 1984.
  2. HWC’s holding method has never been implicated in a catastrophic injury or death in over 30 years of use and millions of applications.
  3. The only people who claim it is unsafe is NDRN and other non expert attorney-advocates with no medical credentials who Amons sought out for negative quotes.
  4. The incident at Chad involved a “choke hold” and “strangulation.”  Nothing that HWC taught there was used.  Blaming HWC is like blaming the American Red
    Cross when someone refuses to use CPR.
  5. We were never contacted by investigators nor were we even notified of the incident by the agency in question.
  6. We were not contacted by the family’s attorney and we were not named in the lawsuit that was settled.
  7. The Illinois Department of Children Services staffer Amons quotes in the story, Kendall Marlowe, is a non expert crony of NDRN. The fact is that HWC has
    been and is still being used throughout Illinois and the rest of the U.S. without incident.
  8. Kendall and others within Illinois Child and Family Services are members of the restraint free movement who are abusing their authority as public officials to arbitrarily exclude an
    ideological enemy.

I personally presented Ms. Amons with all the information any reasonable person would possibly need to conclude that the background information she was being given
by NDRN was untrue prior to broadcast – and she proceeded anyway.

We will let you decide if the story Amons prepared is accurate or fair.  The following documents were presented to Amons prior to broadcast.

See Exhibit 1: My email to Nancy Amons prior to publication/broadcast

See Exhibit 2: My Cease & Desist Letter to NDRN Executive Director Curtis Decker in D.C.

(copied to Disability Law & Advocacy in Nashville, Elizabeth Setty Reeve and April Manicino)

Bruce Chapman’s Email to Nancy Amons Prior to Broadcast

The email below was written to Nancy Amons when she contacted me about a piece she was doing on Chad Youth Enhancement Center in Tennessee.

In my email I explained that her source, Elizabeth Setty Reeve an attorney for NDRN’s Nashville affiliate was not reliable.  On August 4, 2011 we sent Ms. Reeve and her employer Disability Law and Advocacy Center a cease and desist notice for defamation.


Attached to this email are the “Cease and Desist” demand letter which we sent to NDRN Director Curtis Decker and to every NDRN
affiliate throughout the United States on August 4, 2011.

Be advised that the Disability Law and Advocacy Center in Tennessee [including April Manicino and Elizabeth Reeves] and Equip for Equality in Illinois received this notice. The facts contained in it are self-explanatory and incontrovertible.

The next correspondence you will receive from us is a copy of the complaint filed by Omega Leach’s counsel. You’ll notice that neither HWC nor Bruce Chapman were named. Further allegation 26 states that:

“from the results of the autopsy performed on Omega Leach on June 4, 2007, Dr. Levy concluded that the cause of Omega Leach’s death was strangulation. . . .”

This finding by the coroner namely that the cause of death was strangulation, not prone restraint, contradicts the statements you made in our phone conversation.

The remaining documents you are receiving is our legal position papers which we submitted to Congress’ Education Committees on the issue of restraint in schools and have disseminated throughout the United States. They, too, are self explanatory and is the actual reason that the advocacy attorneys and others are waging, what I described to you earlier this evening as, a guerrilla campaign to silence us by any means necessary, including the misuse of the media by issuing false and slanderous statements.

Any attempt by you to associate me, my company or our trademarks with the fatal incident at Chad or that this incident was caused by my training program will be considered a deliberate attempt to mislead your audience and defame my good name and reputation now that I have served you notice of these facts.

I urge you to forward these emails and their attachments to WSMV’s Legal Department prior to airing any story that mentions my company (Handle With Care) or me personally.

Please feel free to call me if you have any further questions.


Bruce Chapman, President
Handle With Care

Cease and Desist Letter to NDRN

It has come to my attention that falsehoods are being circulated by NDRN.  I am posting my letter to NDRN and its local affiliates to universally clarify the record and make people aware of the truth, namely:

  • Since its founding in 1984, HWC has never been implicated in a restraint fatality or catastrophic injury
  • HWC has never been sued nor has HWC ever settled a law suit resulting from a restraint fatality or catastrophic injury.

Anyone saying otherwise is lying.


August 4, 2011

TO: National Disabilities Rights Network

ATTN: Curtis Decker, Executive Director NDRN

The following has come to our attention:

  1. NDRN has made at least one surreptitious attempt to gain access to HWC’s proprietary training materials. Any request made by NDRN to a HWC client agency
    for our proprietary materials, using the cover of your federally funded attorney conglomerate, will constitute harassment, duress and intimidation for the
    purpose of interfering in our relationship with that client. Had this agency cooperated with NDRN’s request, the agency would have been in breach of its
    contract with HWC.
  2. NDRN has chronically misrepresented HWC’s safety record to the media and others.

To ensure that NDRN (and others) can be a more credible informant moving forward, please consider this fair notice to you of the following facts:

  1. With respect to “KidsPeace”; the Lancaster County Pennsylvania District Attorney and his consultant, Dr. Michael Baden, considered one of the top
    forensic experts in the world, completely and unequivocally cleared HWC, the holding method we teach and HWC’s safety protocols. Dr. Baden
    personally approved our holding method for use in New York State after witnessing a demonstration of the method and the safety protocols which I
    engineered to prevent positional asphyxia.
  2. With respect to “Chad”; according to the Medical Examiner this death was the result of a choke hold. HWC does not teach a choke hold.  The fact that it
    occurred on the grounds of a HWC client agency is a coincidence and no other conclusions concerning HWC can be drawn from these facts.
  3. Since its founding in 1984, HWC has never been implicated in a restraint fatality or catastrophic injury HWC has never been sued nor has HWC ever settled a law suit resulting from a restraint fatality or catastrophic injury.
  4. HWC has always taught and promoted a “least restrictive” philosophy and restraint policy in our programming. HWC was created by me within the context
    and practice of community psychiatry, specifically, on the acute inpatient unit of Hall Mercer. Hall Mercer was one of the first Community Mental Health Centers
    established under the 1966 Mental Health Act which, as you know, emptied the State Hospital systems and sent patients back to their families and communities
    where they belong. HWC does not need tutoring by NDRN on a ‘least restrictive’ mindset. We were creating it in milieus decades before there was an NDRN.
  5. HWC programming is in compliance with all relevant Federal, State and local laws and regulations.
  6. HWC possesses the only physical technique ever granted a Patent in the history of the U.S. Patent Office (“Apparatus and Method for Safely Maintaining
    a Restraining Hold on a Patient”). I hold 9 U.S. Patents which were granted for the PRT® and for SoftCircle client protection components.
  7. I have personally trained tens of thousands of people including police and correctional officers, university-based academics, nurses, physicians,
    rehabilitation therapists, child abuse and neglect investigators, nursery school teachers and other accomplished professionals working across virtually every
    segment of health and human services.
  8. I have been “qualified” to offer expert testimony on use-of- force and physical restraint in civil cases and criminal prosecutions in multiple
    jurisdictions throughout the United States. I help indicate and/or convict staff who abuse or use excessive force with consumers.

In summary, there are no questions as to the safety or efficacy of HWC restraining technology and programming. There is no question as to my qualifications as use-of-force and physical restraint expert.

NDRN enjoys no special status which would exempt NDRN (or others) from following the law in its treatment of me and HWC. Please feel free to contact me to fact check any statements you intend to make about me or HWC prior to making them.

This letter is written without prejudice to HWC’s rights, all of which are hereby expressly reserved.


Bruce Chapman, President

Handle With Care