AVON, Massachusetts –
Massachusetts fitness trainer Ed “Brick” Malone is at the center of possibly the most unique court case in the state’s recent history.
Last Friday, during a Norfolk County traffic court hearing, Malone admitted, “I friggin’ lost it. I’m driving home from the gym, this jerk almost sideswipes me, so then I flip him off like everybody else would. So then all of a sudden my middle finger gets stuck – I can’t get my finger back down. Now I’m the bad guy? I don’t think so, son.”
“The injury to the patient’s finger is stress related,” said Dr. Bruno Arujo, of Good Samaritan Medical Center, located in nearby Brockton. “Once we corrected the dislocation issue, I found that there was no actual physical damage; however, the surrounding muscles and tendons around Mr. Malone’s middle finger had seized up.”
The condition is categorized as ‘Repetitive Stress Malady.’ “We can’t force Mr. Malone’s finger back to its natural resting position until the muscles ‘decide’ to relax on their own,” Dr. Arujo told the court. “Based on how many times he told me he’s flipped off drivers in the past, I’m surprised this hasn’t happened before.”
The target of Malone’s anger, 30-year-old Sondra Houlk testified, “First of all, I’m not a guy. I don’t have the typical ‘girly-girl’ look, but no big deal, because the main thing is I didn’t cut anybody off, and I didn’t sideswipe anybody like he said. I signaled, and I looked over, and I thought he waved me through, but I guess he was really giving me the finger, and that’s what happened.”
“I need to use my entire hand to do my fitness trainings,” said Malone. “I can’t go around town looking like I’m telling everyone to go f— off. Oh – sorry for my bad language, your honor,” said Malone,” accidentally offering the judge the ‘one finger salute.’
Malone is suing for loss of income and defamation of character. “The doctor said he couldn’t help me because of my muscle, so there goes my clients! Somebody should pay and it should be that guy who cut me off,” he said. When reminded by the court that Houlk was female, Malone replied, “I don’t think so, son.”
Malone’s public defender, Susan McCarthy, later spoke to reporters gathered outside the courtroom. “Mr. Malone is the victim here. He was provoked and he reacted in what admittedly was not the best way at the time, but almost every single American driver on the road has flipped someone the bird when ‘road rage’ sets in. Mr. Malone did legitimately fear for his life and for his safety. The traumatic result is that he cannot return to full enjoyment of his life and his profession. I’m confident that we will prevail.”
“I just want my finger to go back down to normal,” said Malone. “I don’t like this at all ‘cause now I walk around town looking like I’m flipping everybody off. I don’t think so son,” he added. “Sometimes I forget about it, like yesterday when I went out to get the paper. I wave to my neighbor, and she tells me to go to hell, and then she slams the door.”
A civil hearing is scheduled to begin next month.