(Source)After a summer night of barhopping with friends in Lincoln Park, White Sox pitcher John Danks sat on a bench on the fourth-floor deck of a River West condo he rented, perusing his laptop for music to play. The group had been drinking and one of Danks’ friends had taken cocaine. It was well past midnight but no one was ready to call it a night.
Suddenly, Danks heard a “loud bang.” He looked away from his computer and saw his friend, 29-year-old Blake Papst, lying nearby on the wooden deck. Papst, who was standing on a roof above the deck with his brother, had fallen about 10 feet.
What followed immediately is in dispute but everyone is clear on one detail: An ambulance was not called. Instead, Danks and his two friends eventually went to sleep inside the condo, leaving Papst alone on the deck. “He didn’t act like he was very hurt,” Danks later testified, according to court papers. “I mean, he almost acted like he got the wind knocked out of him more than anything.”
But Papst was seriously injured; he has not walked again. In his version of the events of that night, also contained in court filings, Papst says his pleas for help were ignored by Danks and others and no one would even hand him his cellphone. It wasn’t until the next morning that Danks and Papst’s brother carried him back inside, maneuvering him down a flight of stairs. Even then, no one called an ambulance. Finally, at 6:15 p.m. – hours after Danks left for the Sox game — Papst’s brother, who was still at the condo, called 911, according to police and court records.
When he arrived at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Blake Papst was told blood clots had developed due to his inactivity, so surgery had to wait two days, he later testified. He was diagnosed with a fractured spinal cord. The events of that August night in 2010 may have escaped public notice except that they occurred at the home of a millionaire professional athlete. Two years after the incident, Papst sued Danks, accusing the ballplayer of negligence for, among other things, failing to promptly call paramedics. He also sued his brother, Waylon Papst, as well as the condo owner and the building condo association. The case, filed in Cook County, is set for trial in November.
Really weird account here that we can only assume is going to become a bigger and bigger story as the summer rolls along. It’s very long, and I only included about a third of the article in the preview above, so I’ll break it down as easily as I can here.
Long story short, in 2010, two of John Danks high school friends, Waylon and Blake Pabst, came to Chicago to see Danks pitch. After his start, they proceeded to get fucked up, bar hop in Lincoln Park, and when they got back from the bars, the two brothers climbed onto the roof of Danks condo. When they were up there they started wrestling over a cell phone then Blake fell off the roof and snapped his back in half. Both Danks and Waylon left Blake there until they woke up the next morning and didn’t get him an ambulance until Danks was already at the Cell for the next days game. Danks paid for Pabsts’ medical bills, and two months later signed his $65 million extension. Pabst then sued Danks for negligence for not calling paramedics ASAP.
Crazy that this happened 5 years ago and we’re just now hearing about it. I highly doubt John Danks has a PR guy, but however he kept this under wraps for a half decade is pretty crazy. Gotta think that if a dude snapped his back in half in a drug and alcohol-induced fall off a pro athlete’s roof, and at the time a very good pro athlete’s roof, we’d have heard about it a little sooner, no?
If you’re a Sox fan, the whole story is a must read. It really does have it all – very illegal drugs, alcohol, everyone’s favorite bar Joe’s on Weed St., the works. The Trib did a fantastic job detailing the entire night in a play-by-play breakdown of everything from the day leading up to the fall all the way up to the current lawsuit.
After doing a little WSD investigative research, I have come to the conclusion that I have no idea what the fuck actually happened. The entire story is so incredibly wishy-washy. A classic case of he-said-she- said. No, Danks didn’t have anything to do with the actual fall. But from the sounds of it maybe Danks I was either under the influence or in the presence of coke and didn’t want to get popped for it? No idea. I refuse to believe anyone in this situation doesn’t immediately call an ambulance just to be safe, especially if a guy is laying completely limp and motionless for hours on end. It’d be one thing if he got up and walked it off, but he didn’t. This is where Danks and Pabst’s brother really fucked up.
But then we get to the part where Danks signs a massive multi-million dollar extension, and shortly after Pabst files suit. Pretty coincidental timing if you ask me, especially since they were on good terms after the fall. I’m sure it’s a combination of all of the above, that Pabst is a scumbag looking to extort a rich (former) friend and that Danks shit down his leg (surprise surprise) and tried to cover up a series of poor decisions himself.
All in all, really crazy shit. No idea if this is gonna effect Danks the rest of the season, especially now that it’s public knowledge. Regardless, I’m looking forward to following the story more and more in the coming weeks, especially since I think it’s going to be a big deal in Chicago media. I guess we just have to stay tuned.