We Got It Wrong With Derrick Thomas Due To Bad Info, But The Premise Remains The Same – Stop Giving Money To People With Addictions

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Earlier today we were notified by several previously reliable sources that infamous Worcester panhandler Derrick Thomas passed away Monday night. These sources included police officers and healthcare workers who were the primary sources relaying critical information to us during the police standoff with Jorge Zambrano, which enabled us to be the first news outlet to report his death. We trusted our sources, but it turned out to be untrue.

For what it is worth we are told by people who have reached out to us to clarify this story that he did indeed fall, hit his head, and had a brain bleed. He was previously picked up for being extremely intoxicated and was brought to UMass hospital. They did a brain scan on him there and let him go. He then crossed the bridge into Shrewsbury, saw something that spooked him, started to run, fell and his his head, and has a “subdural hematoma” as a result. He is indeed in the ICU on a mechanical ventilator. His next of kin was notified and he has been in the hospital for several days.


Bottom line is, we got the most important part wrong and we own it. Shit happens when you break news on the regular. You trust your sources and when they get the information you man up and admit it. So that’s what we’re doing. You will never, ever, ever see the Turtlegram do anything like this. We will write an entire blog letting the world know we got it wrong. They’ll put a paragraph on page B14 that no one will see.

Anyway, the premise of the blog remains the same – panhandlers like Derrick Thomas don’t need your money. They need help. Give them a blanket or some food if you’re feeling charitable. But don’t give them a dollar. There’s a reason every intersection in Worcester is overflowing with sign guys – because they know morons will give them money. That’s why we wrote the blog. Not to shame him, or shit on a guy we thought was dead. We wrote it to let people know that if they’re giving money to panhandlers, they’re complicit in the panhandler’s demise.

But apparently some people didn’t read it that way:

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Hey Bob, what did you do to help him out? Oh yea, nothing. Because at the end of the day Derrick Thomas is a grown ass man who can’t be forced to go into rehab. He can do what he wants. But the only thing we can do to help him is stop giving him money to feed his vices. Pretty simple concept really.

But suppose he was actually dead – how is it insensitive to report that? Oh that’s right, it wouldn’t be. You just wanted to have your moment to be self-righteous. Newsflash – the news is almost entirely comprised of stories about people dying. Whether it be civil war in Syria, a random shooting in Brockton, cops killing an “unarmed innocent” civilian, a kid being left in a sweltering hot car, or a MLB pitcher dying in a boating accident. When people die it often becomes news. But please, tell us more about how low we are. If you wanna shit on us for getting it wrong then more power to you. But all these comments came well before that, so you can go ahead and get over yourselves, because you consume the news just like everyone else does.

Derrick Thomas is just one of many out there in his position. It’s tragic because at one point I’m sure he was just a regular guy. We don’t have a solution for this because there really is no solution. But we just have a problem with people tying up valuable emergency resources on a daily basis and getting millions of dollars worth of healthcare without paying a dime. Fucked up right? I know the butthurts would like us to ignore news like this because it hurts people’s feelings, but that’s not what we do here. And we will never, ever, ever stop. Don’t worry though, the Huffington Post will always be there for you if you feel like you need a safe space.


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20 Comment(s)
  • Justice
    October 6, 2016 at 11:38 am

    I think (not sure) he was the guy who came up to my car on September 13 around 5:15 PM, told me he was homeless and ask me for money to “catch the train home.” He introduced himself by sticking his arm in my drivers side window to shake my hand. HELLO!!!!!! He wasn’t trying to scare me, but rather charm me by telling me he loved Jesus. Now if he were homeless…exactly WHERE was this home he needed to catch the train to? HELLOOOOOO again!!!!!!!! I don’t give cash either, but it is sad. If you give them a dollar, they will stick it in their arms.

  • Publius
    October 5, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Perfectly understandable that 1 out of a 100 stories might be wrong. But for most part TB has impeccable sources and not only reports I mean blogs, but offers up the proof. In any event, glad this guy is not dead. To bad all the asylums are closed.

  • Credible source
    October 5, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    !Breaking News! A reliable source informed me that Mrs. Turtleboy died today in a terrible 3 car pile up. An insider says she was on her way to see her boyfriend and was trying to smoke a bowl, text and drive a car all at the same time when she lost control of her vehicle. On the off chance that none of this is true I’ll be sure to tell you tomorrow because that’s what real reporters with integrity do.

  • October 5, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Nice owning your mistake, Saget approves

  • Devils Mouthpiece
    October 5, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Let’s all thank Tracy Nodick for protecting this mans right to free speech. Hey, at least she sleeps better a night and feels better about hersrlf knowing she has enabled a throng of slugs the right to beg for their next drink or fix.

  • Really help the homeless
    October 5, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Thanks Turtleboy for owning up to your mistakes. Also take note SJWs. How would you feel if you knew the dollar you gave to a panhandler was used to buy their LAST fix? Homelessness is a tough trap to get out of and easy access to drugs makes it worse. If you want to help the homeless, the compassionate thing to do is give them food and warm clothes, and donate or better yet volunteer at charities that help homeless people get back on their feet!

  • Credible source
    October 5, 2016 at 7:31 am

    !Breaking News! Turtleboy jr. died last night. He supposedly left a suicide note. This may or may not be true but when has the truth ever mattered at Turtleboy sports?

  • Woodiculous
    October 5, 2016 at 6:51 am

    Solution : all of the creepy clowns out there shall immediately post themselves up next to intersection panhandlers.

  • JayC
    October 5, 2016 at 6:10 am

    The only thing I have ever given a panhandler back in my late teens was a hamburger from McDonalds and they weren’t exactly thankful for my gift. Why you say? Of course!! Because you can’t buy alcohol or drugs with a hamburger. I have no issue giving a bum food or water for their hunger/thirst. I do have a major issue with giving money directly to them to go buy alcohol or drugs. My generosity stops there.

  • Wwy
    October 5, 2016 at 12:57 am

    If Iran nukes Israel we’d save 15 billion a year,let’s hope for that next.

    • Joe Besser
      October 5, 2016 at 6:42 am

      The asshole anti-Semite strikes again!

    • Cc
      October 5, 2016 at 7:42 am

      Ohh Wwy, you’re so witty.

    • Wwy
      October 5, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      LOL,turtlejews have the softest it,the Jew victim card=BLM.

    • Donald Rumsfeld
      October 9, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      We should kill all the Arabs, take the oil, and end the problem of terrorism once and for all.

      • Donald Rumsfeld
        October 9, 2016 at 3:46 pm

        Just remember : no Arabs = no terrorists!

        Long LIve the State of Israel.

  • Jaime the worried sister
    October 4, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Weather Derek is dead or alive thank you for writing this blog post! People will not listen to reason when asked to NOT give the panhandlers money, give them a water a blanket a sandwich but PLEASE no money! You see my family is in the same boat as Derek’s family, my brother DOES NOT want the help no matter how many times I drive all over this state for him to go into a rehab or when I section him. I had to come to the reality he will only stop when I get the dreaded phone call that he is dead. I will have to inform my elderly father who will most likely have a heart attack when he is told. I will have to call my mother down south and let her know her youngest lost his battle with addiction! I will be the one to get the call, yes my brother like the rest have made their adult decisions but it still sucks for the family! I can’t and won’t give any of them money because I couldn’t live with the idea I was the one that gave them the money to finally have enough to buy that last hit or last nip!
    You owned up to an error but yes the story remains the same

  • Rubinoff
    October 4, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Derek Thomas is 100% dead. The only part you got wrong is that he died today not Monday. He was a drain on society, and an asshole to those who tried to help him. Sorry not sorry

    • FO
      October 5, 2016 at 11:32 am

      I hope people say the same thing about you when you die. POS.

    • Tee
      October 8, 2016 at 12:57 am

      He died yesterday actually. Friday, October 7th. Not Monday and not Tuesday. Make sure your facts are straight and your head is out of your ass the next time you wanna talk shit.

  • John Barker
    John B
    October 4, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    Where the fuck else is this guy going to get a full article obit?…

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