Citizen Pays High Price
armed but frightened man recited yesterday the harrowing personal
price he has paid since serving as a police informer.
business is dead; he has been ambushed and shot, and his wife
and two children live in constant fear and almost continuously
on the move, said one-time San Quentin Guard Robert Worthington.
provided police with their first tip of the impending burglary
of the home of Sally Stanford at 2324 Pacific Avenue in April
of last year. Police Officer Salvatore Polani and three others
were later convicted after falling into a trap which Worthington,
then a Point Reyes contractor, helped set.
has filed a claim for $150,000 for personal injury and business
loss under the 13-month-old California "Good Samaritan" law. The
law provides that the State "may" make compensation to those injured
personally or financially because of assistance to police.
armed San Francisco plain-clothesmen sat at the back of a little
hearing room in the State Building as Worthington appeared before
State Hearing Officer, Harold Furst. His attorneys, Richard Gladstein
and Lewis Yapp, presented but two witnesses, Worthington and the
psychiatrist who has treated him, Dr. Edwin Plank Brennan.
was not to be brought into the case at all," Worthington said.
"But something went wrong."
his identity was revealed, he said, police were immediately assigned
to guard him, his wife, and his daughter, 13, and son, 11. But
his business began falling apart.
couldnt go out to a lot to inspect a prospective building
site, he said, until police had checked out the person he was
to meet. He had to have his telephone disconnected because of
ominous calls received by his wife.
has moved his family home five times and has had to send his family
out of town on several occasions when police warned him that there
was danger. Two cars he owned have been repossessed. Three homes
which he had built and in which he had substantial investment
have been foreclosed.
a couple of occasions, I was followed by strange cars," Worthington
said. "One night I was followed by a car without lights and went
up to 100 miles an hour. At night time you cant see back
and the only thing to do is run."
was provided a gun by police and used it once. He was ambushed
on Lucas Valley Road in Marin County, September 5, 1966, and grazed
by a bullet. He fired two shots back at his attackers. "I have
a preoccupation with death; I dont know when, I dont
know who but it is out there."
and Yapp believe that Worthingtons suffering is worth $150,000
in damages. He has suffered $96,064 in property loss and business
loss, the lawyers said.
said that his claim would enable him to move "maybe away from
this continent" to start a new life for his family.
appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, 11/4/66