Grandpa – A Great Man

Philip Cerbone - WWII medals

WW II vet Philip Cerbone died Tuesday, part of D-Day warriors

Submitted by Jan Skutch on Wed, 2014-03-26 09:41

We lost another of our WW II veterans – America’s Greatest Generation –  yesterday when Philip Cerbone died at the Azalealand Nursing Home at age 93.

Cerbone was among the warriors who stormed the beaches at Omaha Beach on D-day, June 6, 1944, losing his buddies to Nazi fire. He marched through Europe, including the Battle of the Bulge before getting out in October 1945.

He served in the last U.S. Calvary before moving on to the 1st Army, 104th infantry Division, (Timberwolf), from June 6, 1940, through October 1945, his son, Adam Cerbone said.  He was part of the 3rd wave at Omaha Beach Normandy on D-Day, Hedgerows, St.  Lo, Northern France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, (Hurtgen Forrest, Siegfried Line) and the Battle of the Bulge.

For his bravery, heroism, and meritorious service he was awarded the Bronze Star, as well as the Good Conduct Medal,  European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal , WWII Victory Medal, Combat Infantry Badge 1st Award and the Honorable Service Label Button WWII, his son said.

Philip Cerbone, a Bayonne, N.J.  native and son of Italian immigrants,  landed in Savannah in March 1980 with his wife of almost 68 years, Eleanor Cherchio Cerbone. The family tree included sons,  attorney, Adam Cerbone, and Assistant District Attorney Tom Cerbone,  and daughter, Judi Cerbone Ruchalski, a retired school teacher, all of Savannah.

In civilian life, he was a grocer, owned an IGA grocery store and restaurant.

The family plans a visitation from 5-7 p.m. tomorrow at Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Whitemarsh Island. A private, full military burial is planned for Friday at the Beaufort National Cemetery.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Fund.

To see the original article click here:  WW II vet Philip Cerbone died Tuesday, part of D-Day warriors

Savannah Morning News Obituary

World War II veteran Philip (Phil) A. Cerbone, 93, passed away peacefully at Azalealand Nursing Home with his family at his side on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Mr. Cerbone served in the last U.S. Calvary before moving on to the 1st Army, 104th infantry Division, (Timberwolf), from June 6, 1940 through October 1945. He was part of the 3rd wave at Omaha Beach Normandy on D-Day, Hedgerows, St. Lo, Northern France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, (Hurtgen Forrest, Siegfried Line) and the Battle of the Bulge. For his bravery, heroism, and meritorious service he was awarded the Bronze Star, as well as the Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal , WWII Victory Medal, Combat Infantry Badge 1st Award and the Honorable Service Label Button WWII.

Philip Cerbone was born in Bayonne, New Jersey on November 16, 1920 to Italian immigrants Adamo and Jenny Cerbone. He had six siblings who all predeceased him. He attended Princeton University and left to enter WWII. After the war he went home to help in the family grocery business and met the love of his life, Eleanor Cherchio Cerbone. They married in 1946 and next month would have been their 68th wedding anniversary. He owned his own IGA grocery stores and restaurants and spent his career in the grocery business. He is survived by his wife, Eleanor, their three children: Judith Cerbone Ruchalski (Edmund); Adam P. Cerbone (Kristin); and Thomas M. Cerbone (Terri). He had seven grandchildren: Karen Ruchalski Mahoney (Tim), Christopher Ruchalski (Erin), Jason Cerbone, Kristin Cerbone Peters (Chris), Celia Cerbone, Alex Cerbone and Jennifer (Jenny) Cerbone Lanigan (Brooks). He is also survived by eight great grandchildren: Patrick and Cooper Mahoney, Clayton and Molly Ruchalski, Walker and Kate Peters, Callie and Payton Lanigan. Philip, was part of the greatest generation and he left him mark everywhere he went his memory will live on as one of love, generosity and warmth he is missed by his love ones, and friends . He was an honorary member of” Italian Society of Savannah”.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Fund.

The family would like to express thanks to the staff of Memorial Hospital and Azalealand Nursing Home for all their care and kindness to Mr Cerbone in his time of need.

Funeral service will be held at Fox & Weeks Funeral Home on Whitemarsh Island, Thursday, March 27th, at 5:00 pm.

To view the original newspaper clipping as PDF, click here:  World War II Veteran Philip (Phil) A. Cerbone Obituary – Savannah Morning News

Local WWII Veteran Laid to Rest At Beaufort National Cemetery

BEAUFORT, S.C. – A World War II veteran was laid to rest in Beaufort National Cemetery today.

Philip Cerbone was the former soldier, father, grandfather, and great grandfather who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 93.

His children say his patriotic legacy will live on.

“He was a wonderful man, inspirational, and my hero,” Tom Cerbone says of his father.

He described affectionately described the late Cerbone as a true American hero, surviving the storming of Omaha Beach in the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

“Daddy loved life. He loved his family, and he loved his country,” Adam Cerbone added to the description of his father.

His final march to his resting place at Beaufort National Cemetery was a touching ceremony for Adam Cerbone.

“Emotions just flooded me,” he says. “Phil Cerbone had the American flag flying in his heart at all times.”

As Adam Cerbone watched as soldiers folded the flag his father thought so fondly of, tears welled in his eyes.

His brother, Tom, was also touched.

“He loved his country to his death,” Tom Cerbone says.

The family recalled war stories their patriot told them over the years. While they say there were stories grim, their father always saw the glass half full. He survived many a battle.

“You know, Dad was in the thick of it from D-Day, the third wave. He spoke about how many of his friends died next to him, but he continued on,” Tom Cerbone says.

Philip Cerbone was honored with the Bronze Star, the Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Combat Infantry Badge 1st Award, and the Honorable Service Label Button WWII.

He says the legacy of pressing on was born also in his three children. Judith Cerbone Ruchalski (Edmund), Adam Cerbone (Kristi), and Tom Cerbone (Terri) survive their father, along with their mother Eleanor Cherchio Cerbone.

Philip Cerbone is also survived by seven grandchildren to include Karen Ruchalski Mahoney (Tim), Christopher Ruchalski (Erin), Jason Cerbone, Kristin Cerbone Peters (Chris), Celia Cerbone, Alex Cerbone, and Jennifer Cerbone Lanigan (Brooks). His eight great grandchildren are Patrick and Cooper Mahoney, Clayton and Molly Ruchalski, Walker and Kate Peters, and Callie and Payton Lanigan.

In a word, ‘patriotism,’ was what Philip Cerbone’s taught his family by example, according to Adam Cerbone.

“His blood runs through that flag. That was the essence of my father,” he says.

To see the news video clip of Grandpa’s military funeral from WSAV, click here: news video clip of Grandpa’s military funeral from WSAV

To see the original story click here:  Local WWII Veteran Laid to Rest At Beaufort National Cemetery

Not Guilty to DUI less safe

Case:  State of Georgia v. C.B. R11110270

Court:  State Court of Chatham County, Georgia

Judge:  Chief Judge, H. Gregory Fowler

Charges:

  1. DUI, Less Safe (Alcohol) – O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391(a)(1)
  2. Speeding – O.C.G.A. § 40-6-181
  3. Driving Under Influence (DUI) –  O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391
  4. Contempt of Court –  O.C.G.A. § 16-1-4

Disposition:

  1. Not Guilty
  2. Guilty
  3. Changed Charge
  4. Dismissed

Judgment – State of Georgia v. C.B. R11110270


 

Summary

“I’m so nervous,” he said. “They have a verdict in one hour…Is that good?” “I don’t know,” I said, “I’ve seen it go both ways.” The Clerk of the Chatham County State Court read the verdict: “For the charge of DUI less safe, we the jury find the defendant, Mr. B not guilty.” He grabbed my arm. I looked him in the eye. They looked red and watery. I was glad for him.

Mr. B is from Jamaica. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and child. He works for Delta. The night that this happened he was working in Chatham County. He had worked from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. He went out, had two beers, and headed back to the Condo on Tybee Island. He got pulled over on Butler Avenue for Speeding by a Tybee Island police officer.

The police officer asked him, “Do you know why I stopped you?” Mr. B said, “Because I was going too fast.” The police officer asked him if he wanted an accuracy check on the radar, and Mr. B said “No.” The Tybee officer smelled alcohol and saw that his eyes looked sleepy and told him to get out of the car. The cop asked how much he had drunk. Mr. B told him two beers. He asked him to do some field sobriety tests and within nine minutes he handcuffed Mr. B and arrested him for DUI less safe alcohol 40-6-391(a)(1) and Speeding 40-6-181.

I needed to prove that the police officer gave the field sobriety tests wrong, and invalidated them. The thing was that this police officer was straight and true. He is a good man, and I rather liked him. So there I was; I had him on cross-examination and I knew he gave the field sobriety tests wrong. Half-way through, I decided to stop challenging him face to face. I called in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration DUI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Tests Instructor. He testified that the Tybee police officer did not do the field sobriety tests correctly which made them invalid and unreliable.

There was no video, so I called an investigator to the stand and he showed the jury photographs of where all of this happened on Tybee Island.

We started at nine in the morning and finished around eight in the evening. It took the jury one hour to decide to let Mr. B go home not guilty to DUI less safe, and guilty of Speeding. I am grateful because the Judge of Chatham County State Court gave us a fair trial, and that to me is a square shake.

Not guilty to DUI in Chatham County Georgia

Judgment

Download Judgment: State of Georgia v. C.J. R12090453

Summary

In the State Court of Chatham County Georgia, the jury gave the verdict: Not guilty to DUI, less safe (alcohol) 40-6-391(a)(1). The charge for no headlights was dismissed.

Calvin was asleep when the phone rang. Kat and Mike needed a ride home. He had been with them earlier. He had gone downtown in Savannah around seven that evening. He had three beers and went home at ten because he was tired and had to work the next day. Now it was three in the morning and Calvin got up. He drove back downtown to Savannah. He picked them up and headed back to Pooler when he got pulled over by the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police for no headlights.

The cop saw that Calvin wore a wristband from a bar in Savannah. He ordered him out of the Infiniti. On I-16 he had Calvin do some DUI field sobriety tests. He found Calvin’s attempts to be wrong. He arrested him for DUI, less safe (alcohol) 40-6-391(a)(1); and no headlights. He locked him in handcuffs. He put him in the back of his car. Then he asked Calvin to take a breath test at the the Chatham County Georgia jail. Calvin said “No,” because he had done everything else the cop asked and look where that got him.

We hired a DUI field sobriety expert instructor.  He testified that the police officer did the One Leg Stand wrong as well as the Walk and Turn, and invalidated both of them.  We also hired an investigator to take pictures of the location in Chatham County Georgia. He testified that the shoulder of I-16 was not flat and level and was in bad condition.

In the end the jury gave the verdict: Not guilty to DUI, less safe (alcohol) 40-6-391(a)(1) in Chatham County Georgia. The violation of the headlights requirement charge was dismissed.

DUI to Failure to use due care Chatham County

Judgment

Download Judgment: DUI to Failure to use due care Chatham County

Summary

In the Pooler Municipal Court of Chatham County, Georgia my client (we’ll call him Joe) was charged with DUI less safe – 40-6-391(a)(1), and Failure to maintain lane – 40-6-48. He pleaded guilty to Failure to use due care.  The charges of DUI less safe – refusal, and Failure to maintain lane disappeared.

From the Pooler police officer’s video, you can see that Joe never crossed a lane line.  Joe didn’t even touch the lane line.  But, the video shows that the police officer did cross the right lane line when he was behind Joe.  When the police officer puts the blue lights on, Joe pulls over fine.  But, the police report says Joe almost hit the curb.  Didn’t happen — Did Joe almost speed?  Did Joe almost throw something out the window?  The report doesn’t mention that Joe braked properly, used his turn signal, switched off his turn signal, pulled over correctly, came to a complete stop, put the Mercedes in park, turned off lights, shut the Benz off, and had his license in hand before the police officer walked up.

The Pooler police officer asked Joe if he had been drinking and Joe said he had three drinks over the past four hours.  The cop then ordered Joe out of his car.  The cop asked Joe to try the Walk and Turn field sobriety test.  Joe told the police officer he couldn’t do that because of medical reasons.  The police officer then gave Joe a preliminary breath test, and then arrested Joe and asked him to take a breath test at the Chatham County police station.  Joe said “No.”

I prepared Joe’s case the same way I always do; as if it will be a jury trial in the State Court of Chatham County.  But, then a wonderful opportunity came along the way.  The police officer agreed to let Joe plead guilty to Failure to use due care instead of DUI.  What a marvelous thing.

DUI .113 reduced to Speeding in Liberty County

Judgment: DUI reduced to Speeding in Liberty County

In the State Court of Liberty County my client (we’ll call him Joe) was charged with DUI less safe – 40-6-391(a)(1), DUI .08 grams or more – 40-6-391(a)(5), and Speeding. He pleaded guilty to just the speeding charge. The DUI less safe and the DUI .08 grams or more were dropped.

The police report said that Joe had red, glossy eyes, and that he had a strong smell of alcohol coming from his breath.  The Liberty County Police Officer asked Joe how much he had drunk and Joe said he had three glasses with one shot of gin in each cup that he made.  Then the officer asked him when he had his last drink, and Joe said four or five hours ago.  The report said Joe was unsteady on his feet when he got out of his BMW.  The video showed that he was not unsteady.    The police officer then gave Joe a preliminary breath test.  The result showed the presence of alcohol and they arrested Joe, cuffed him, and took him to jail for DUI.

What the Liberty County police did not do was give Joe any field sobriety tests.  They should have given him three field sobriety tests (also known as roadside agility tryouts (RATS) in this order: Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk and Turn, One-Leg Stand.  Then after those three field sobriety tests he should have been asked to blow in that preliminary breath test.

I got ready for the preliminary hearing.  The day of the preliminary hearing the District Attorney agreed to drop the two DUI charges and let Joe plead guilty to Speeding.  Joe agreed.  Naturally.

 

DUI down to reckless in Effingham County

Here is the real court judgment: Third DUI reduced to reckless driving in Effingham County

In the State Court of Effingham County, Georgia my client (we’ll call him Joe) was charged with Driving under the influence – 40-6-391 (DUI less safe refusal), Failure to maintain lane – 40-6-48, and Too fast for conditions – 40-6-180. This would have been his third DUI. Joe plead guilty to reckless driving. The DUI less safe refusal, Failure to maintain lane, and Too fast for conditions were dropped.

It was raining. Joe crashed into a tree coming around a curve because his steering failed. Earlier that day he bought two quarts of power steering fluid for his truck. Now sitting in his truck, his femur bone was sticking out of his leg. He was cut out of his truck and  taken to the hospital. According to the Effingham County police report he smelled like alcohol, and his speech was slurred, and his eyes were bloodshot, and he said he had drunk a couple of beers earlier. Naturally, he was charged with DUI. While he was laying there the cop asked him if he would let them test his blood for alcohol. He said OK. Then at the hospital when they tried to take his blood, he wouldn’t let them.

After meeting Joe and listening to his story, I drove to the scene of the accident in Effingham County.  I believed this was an unfortunate accident. But it was not caused by alcohol. Joe was innocent. I was ready to fight.

The solicitor general in Effingham County prepared to take this case to trial because it would be Joe’s third DUI. Early on, I tried to get him to let my client plead the DUI to something else. But he would not agree. So I got ready for trial. After months of getting ready and talking to the prosecutor and showing him the problems with the case he finally allowed my client to plead guilty to a non-DUI charge. I wish I knew why. All I know is he is a great lawyer and a good man. Maybe he believes in second chances.

DUI refusal dismissed in Bryan County

Here is the Bryan County court judgment: DUI refusal dismissed in Bryan County

John was asleep when the Richmond Hill police officer found him. He was sleeping in his truck at the Richmond Hill police station parking lot. He had been there for several hours when a police officer banged on the glass and woke him up. The officer asked him to get out of the truck. He did. The officer smelled alcohol on him. He asked if he drank. “Yes,” he said, “Yesterday.” John told them “I was in Bryan County and didn’t want to drive and thought this was the best place to be.” The Richmond Hill police officer asked him to do field sobriety tests. He agreed. He did the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (eye test) and the One Leg Stand. Then he was arrested for DUI less safe.

The police officer  didn’t see him drive. He didn’t know what time John parked in the Richmond  Hill police station parking lot. He didn’t how long he had been there sleeping. His truck was not on. The engine was not warm. The police officer failed to show that he drove within three hours of drinking alcohol.  They did not ask him to do the Walk and Turn field sobriety test. They didn’t ask him to blow in the Preliminary breath screening device.  His eyes were not red. No alcohol was found. He gave them his license. His speech was normal. He was mentally alert. They never asked how much he drank. They never asked when he drank. They never asked where he drank. They never asked what he ate. They never asked who he was with. When he got out of his truck he didn’t use his door for support. He exited his truck perfect.  He walked fine.  He did everything the police asked him to do.

In the end, the DUI was dismissed in Bryan County and my client walked away from Richmond Hill a happy man.

DUI .136 dropped for Gulfstream engineer

Here is the actual court judgment:  DUI dropped for Gulfstream engineer.  Jake is a Gulfstream engineer. His career in the Aviation industry would be gone if he got a DUI on his record. Jake’s life would have been ruined if we gave up. So, I fought Jake’s case like I was fighting for my family. Fighting is the key.  Here is what we ended up with: DUI .08 grams or more with .136 breath alcohol test dropped; Speeding dropped; Open container dropped; Failure to maintain lane dropped. Jake plead guilty to Failure to use due care in the State Court of Effingham County Georgia.

Jake was driving home one night and he sees blue lights and he pulls over. The cop told Jake he paced him doing 70 m.p.h. in a 45 m.p.h. zone. (This is important because Speeding is not one of the twenty-four nightime DUI Detection cues that police are trained to look for in DUI drivers.) Jake had his license ready for the cop before he walked up. Immediately the cop asked him if he’d been drinking. Jake told him three or four beers earlier. Jake does some field sobriety tests on an unlevel highway in the cold 50 degree night in the dark. Jake felt he did the field sobriety tests pretty well. But he was arrested for DUI and he took a breath alcohol test at the police station and blew a .136 breath alcohol test on the Intoxilyzer 5000. During the field sobriety tests and when he blew the breath alcohol test he had chewing tobacco in his mouth. This is a bit of a problem for forensic reliability. The officer did all of the field sobriety tests wrong. Any field sobriety tests instructor would show that.  The officer didn’t follow the protocols for giving the breath alcohol test because he didn’t watch Jake for the required 20 minute observation period. He also violated the breath alcohol test protocol by not removing the chew in my client’s mouth while he blew in that machine.

Anyway, I talked to the Solicitor General (the opposing attorney) several times. He is a fantastic lawyer. After showing him some of the problems in this case, he agreed to work this case out. The result:DUI .08 grams or more with .136 breath alcohol test dropped; Speeding dropped; Open container dropped; Failure to maintain lane dropped. Jake plead guilty to Failure to use due care in the State Court of Effingham County Georgia.

Not guilty to DUI .183 for Army specialist

Here is the actual court judgment: Not guilty to DUI .183 for Army specialist

Kori was arrested by  a Georgia State Patrol Officer in Long County, Ludowici, Georgia. She was charged with DUI, alcohol, less safe 40-6-391(a)(1) .183 blood alcohol content; Possession of open container in vehicle passenger area 40-6-253; and Failure to maintain lane 40-6-48.  In the Ludowici Municipal court she got no DUI.  The judge let her plead to Not guilty to DUI.  Guilty to Failure to use due care.

Kori is an Information Technology Specialist for the U.S. Army. She is from Arizona. She was in Savannah for work.  She had left downtown Savannah and was driving to Hinesville.  She was reaching over and messing around with her Garmin GPS and ran off the road. She was pulled over by a Georgia State Patrol Officer.  She had a cup of gin and tonic in the center console. The State Patrol Officer told her to get out of the car and do some field sobriety tests. She said, “This can’t be happening to me.” My back has an injury that makes it hard to walk after sitting.” The police officer replied, “Just do what I tell you.” It was extremely cold out. She had two bulging discs in her back and the police officer knew this, but they had her give the field sobriety tests a shot anyway. She failed these according to the police officer. On the preliminary roadside breath test she blew a .200. On the Intoxilyzer 5000 breath test inside the police station she blew a .186 blood alcohol content and a .183 blood alcohol content.

Back in Savannah, Georgia I subpoenaed the Georgia State Patrol Officer video of the stop and arrest, and his polcie report, and breath test tickets and call records. I watched the video for hours. I paused it and wrote down the times and the things that I would challenge him on. For example, the way he did the field sobriety tests. Then I carefully created a cross-examination outline that I would use in court to help Kori beat the DUI. After all that, I called the Georgia State Patrol Officer up. He was nice on the phone. He was a pleasure to work with.  And there was no district attorney.  He asked me, “What do you want?” I said, “Anything except a DUI.” “All right,” he said, “I am willing to let her plead to Failure to use due care.” I was surprised. “Thank you Mr. Police Officer, Thank you.”

I called Kori up. “I got something fine to tell you,” I said. “The police officer is willing to drop your DUI down to Failure to use due care.” She said, “That’s the best thing I’ve heard.” “Yes,” I said, “He’ s one of us.” She flew into town for court. I drove an hour and a half in the pouring rain to Ludowici Municipal Court. She took the deal. The judge agreed and ruled “Not guilty to DUI. Guilty to Failure to use due care.” I stood next to her. She patted me on the shoulder.

DUI blood test dismissed in Chatham County

Here is the actual court judgment: Amy pleads DUI down to reckless driving in the Municipal Court of Pooler

Amy was afraid.  If she were to be convicted of DUI, she could have been discharged from the U.S. Army. She could have lost her security clearance, and she could have lost her high ranking position. So, she gave me something to fight for.  And along the way came the opportunity to take reckless driving instead of DUI.  She took it.

Amy was arrested by the Pooler Police Department and charged with DUI/alcohol 40-6-391(a)(5), DUI less safe 40-6-391(a)(1) and Speeding 40-6-181. In the Municipal Court of Pooler in Chatham County, Georgia, I helped her get rid of the DUI.  She plead guilty to reckless driving and speeding. The DUI was dismissed.

She’d never been in any real trouble before. Just a couple of speeding tickets. And on this night she was driving home. The video that I finally got from the police officer proved she was pulled over for speeding (86 m.p.h. in a 65 m.p.h. zone). She didn’t swerve or do any other thing wrong. She got her license out and waited on the police officer to come. He came. “You been drinking,” he asked. “No,” she said. He told her to get out of her car and asked her to do a preliminary breath test on the side of the road. (This should always be given last, after the three standardized field sobriety tests: Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk and Turn, and One leg stand.) The police officer deviated from his training and didn’t do any of the three field sobriety tests. Not a one.

Amy cooperated with the cop and took the preliminary breath test. The police officer wrote in his report that the preliminary breath test showed the presence of alcohol at .175. So he arrested her. Amy got to the station and tried to take a breath test but the police officer said that she gave an insufficient sample (.139). Amy requested to have a blood test. So they drew her blood and she went home. She called me. She hired me. I worked. First, I got her license suspension case dismissed so she was able to keep driving. Then at the Preliminary Hearing in the Municipal Court of Pooler the police officer and the judge agreed to allow her to plead the DUI down to reckless driving.  So the DUI is gone. Amy wins. Case closed.