Clifton Park family: Son's death reclassified
CLIFTON PARK, NY (WRGB)--Pictures of their son Patrick fill Gail and Paul Casey's home, including snapshots from his college football career, places he traveled and his service in the Army, where he deployed to Afghanistan.
“We were nervous all the time that we would get that phone call that something happened. We never dreamed that we would get that phone call, but it wasn’t from Afghanistan, it came from Washington, DC,” said Paul Casey, Pat’s father.
Paul and Gail Casey received the call in September 2011. Pat was done serving and was going to George Washington University, working toward his master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies. His mom says he wanted to help in the Middle East. In the call they were told Pat was seriously hurt in a fight outside a fast food restaurant. He died a few days later.
For five and a half years now the Casey's have been searching for the truth. They said that police originally said it was Pat who started the fight. His parents say that surveillance video and information they gathered show that was not the case.
“The pieces that they gave us of the puzzle, they didn’t fit,” said Gail Casey.
The Casey’s did their own investigation and shared what they found with police. Police then took that to prosecutors. The Casey’s say the case had been classified as defense of another, meaning authorities believed the man who hit Pat was defending a friend. The Casey’s say the prosecutor has now changed that.
“He did change the classification from their point of view to insufficient evidence,” said Gail.
Pat’s parents say that was their goal, to have a reclassification, and clear their son’s name. They say that night, Pat was trying to help a friend.
“Pat stepped in to protect his new friend and in doing so got sucker punched and was killed,” said Gail.
“Pat did nothing wrong that night and it's a shame it's taken us 5 1/2 years to get to this point,” said Paul.
Now the parents say they would like the justice system to take it a step further.
“We want them to obtain all the evidence, carefully review all the evidence and then follow the evidence where it leads. That’s what should have happened 5 1/2 years ago,” said Paul.
CBS6 News reached out to the DC Police. A spokesperson said the department cannot comment when a case is under review by the United States Attorney’s Office. CBS6 News also reached out to the United States Attorney’s Office. A spokesperson said, “The U.S. Attorney’s Office has worked with the Metropolitan Police Department on the investigation into the death of Mr. Casey. We typically do not comment on charging decisions and have no comment at this time on this particular matter.”
A spokesperson said the U.S. Attorney’s Office could not comment at this time either.