by Kyle Swenson
Update: You probably want to familiarize yourselves with the details on this one, but basically James and Gabrielle Bracken steered their wild crazytrain all over Northeast Ohio last year, leaving strewn in their wake a series of odd situations including stolen hospital equipment, a bomb scare, and finally, capping the show, a false rape allegation.
Luckily, a courtroom has stepped in and smacked this situation upside the head with some common sense by compensating the poor guy who bore the brunt of the Bracken's insanity, Clevelander Joseph Melendez. The couple accused Melendez of trying to rape Gabrielle, a charge that police found eventually to be complete fantasy.
This week, Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Christopher Rothgery awarded Melendez a $1.5 million judgment after the wrongly accused brought a civil action against the couple, according to his attorney Larry Zukerman. James Bracken is currently in jail waiting to criminal charges for the false accusation. His wife is MIA.
For more details on the Brackens and their scheme involving Melendez, check out the original story below
Everybody has a bad month here and there, but your average 30 days of rough luck have got nothing on one young Sheffield couple’s last September. Stolen medical equipment, fake explosive devices, rape schemes — all in a month’s work.
James and Gabrielle Bracken, 27 and 18, are by far the most badshit crazy pair of lovebirds since celebrity trainwreck Randy and Evi Quaid. Without TMZ screen time and Vanity Fair spreads, however, it’s just sad. The Chronicle-Telegram has an article up following the insane footsteps of this hometown Sid and Nancy. Props to the paper for uncovering this strange, strange story.
First, we lay our scene in Mayfield Heights, at Hillcrest Hospital last September. The couple were on site to see James’ mother, who was in the intensive care unit. The paper reports James, a Sheffield firefighter and EMS, was being a pain, telling the staff how to do their jobs. He got upset, went outside, and the staff alerted police.
When the couple returned, officers told James to loose the tool belt — we guess he was just walkin’ around with the ol’ tool belt on, nothing strange wit’ that — because it had a 4-inch blade and scissors on it. James didn’t take kindly to the command. He whipped out the blade, prompting police to draw their guns. Ever the calming presence, Gabrielle took the knife away from her husband — crisis averted, for a moment. We’ll break out the old block quotes here, because the pure ridiculousness of the next development is best conveyed in the most concrete and dry newspaperspeak:
James Bracken was commanded to drop the tool belt, but when he refused, Gabrielle jumped between her husband and the officers while James Bracken stood in a combative stance, holding a pair of scissors, according to the report.
Officers pushed Gabrielle out the way and grappled with James Bracken, taking him to the ground, while Gabrielle Bracken jumped onto the back of one of the officers.
They were both brought under control by the officers and handcuffed, the report said.
Truth is, that alone would have made a good article. However, we’re not done: the cops searched the couple’s van and discovered the Brackens had been boosting medical equipment from the hospital.
But wait, readers, we’re far from done. While the two were incarcerated for the Hillcrest incident, a member of the Bracken family contacted the Lorain County Sheriff’ Office and asked the police to check in on a girl living at the Bracken’s residence. The authorities stopped by, saw the girl, and wait, what’s that over there, spotted what appeared to be an explosive device (red tubes with “dynamite” written across the side rigged to a timer) sitting on a workbench in the garage.
The neighborhood was evacuated. The bomb squad was called. It turned out the device was a clock.
How do you cap a month like that, 30 days of public disturbances? With some violent bedroom shenanigans, duh!
According to the article, it seems Clevelander Joseph Melendez had somehow been pulled into the couple’s orbit. James began to suspect Gabrielle had eyes on the buddy. In order to sooth the worries and restore hub’s sense of virility, she cooked up a scheme: Gabrielle would invite Melendez back to the house and get him into some compromising situation on the bedspread, whereupon James would miraculously intervene, metal object in hand, and attack the scoundrel. Yup, the old Framed Rape gag.
Luckily for Melendez, he escaped the scene before feeling the blunt edge of James’ piece. The Brackens must have reported the incident to police, because he was charged with attempted rape following the incident. Police eventually dropped the charges, probably when they spent enough time with the couple to realize what they were dealing with.
Melendez is now suing the couple. God’s speed, good sir.