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Jan 19, 2011 11:26 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Quogue Village Police Chief Collapses At Town Event

Jan 19, 2011 11:26 AM

Quogue Village Police Chief Robert B. Coughlan returned to work on Monday, three days after he collapsed at a community gathering at Southampton Town Hall called in response to the deadly shootings in Arizona on January 8.

Chief Coughlan, who was taken to Southampton Hospital by Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance, was reported to be in stable condition immediately following the event, dubbed “Coming Together for Civility.” The police chief, who Quogue Village Mayor Peter Sartorius said had been sick for the past week with either a cold or the flu, with a high fever and chills, collapsed between 9:30 and 9:45 a.m. while event organizer Bob Zellner, a human rights activist from Southampton, was addressing the crowd.

“He’s returned to work and is feeling better,” said Quogue Village Police Lieutenant Chris Isola on Tuesday. He previously reported that Chief Coughlan was released from the hospital on Friday—the same day as the rally.

“He’s fine. He’s talking. He’s coherent. He has the flu,” Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said in the lobby of Town Hall following the chief’s collapse last Friday. “We think he’s going to be just fine.”

Though it brought Friday morning’s event to an abrupt end, Chief Coughlan’s medical condition did not put a damper on the messages that community members delivered while standing on the steps outside Town Hall. U.S. Representative Tim Bishop, State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., Ms. Throne-Holst and others gave speeches that focused on virtues like civility and tolerance—themes that have come to the forefront since the deadly rampage in Arizona six days before the community rally.

About 25 people, a mix of government officials and local community members, huddled together in the bitter cold that morning—temperatures were in the low 20s, though they felt even cooler due to the wind—to reflect on the tragedy that claimed the lives of six people and injured 14 more, including Arizona U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who, according to authorities, was the primary target of a deranged gunman. Students attending Southampton Elementary School, which is located next door to Town Hall, also came out to listen to their message.

While addressing the crowd, Mr. Bishop recalled a conversation he had with Ms. Giffords just days before she was shot in the head and seriously injured. He said the two of them joked about how they were a part of the “landslide caucus” of representatives who kept their seats in November’s election, each by a margin of fewer than 3,000 votes.

“It’s hard to believe, 72 hours later, she was fighting for her life,” Mr. Bishop said.

Mr. Thiele implored those in attendance on Friday to start with themselves before trying to get others to change how they address others. “Civility, like charity, has to begin at home,” he said. “It’s how we conduct ourselves on a daily basis with our lives and our actions.”

It was when Mr. Zellner took the podium that Chief Coughlan, who is in his 50s and had been out sick all week, according to Mr. Sartorius, collapsed. The police chief could be seen clutching a flagpole while trying to hold himself up during the outdoor ceremony. Other officials in attendance and paramedics quickly offered assistance to Chief Coughlan.

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Hope The Chief has a speedy recovery, a good guy, - well respected.
By johnnytax (29), new york on Jan 14, 11 9:06 PM
Goes to show you, being a Chief is not an easy job in today's times.
Full Speed ahead........
By Harbormate (1), Southampton on Jan 14, 11 9:41 PM
Speedy recovery to the Chief. But, can someone tell me who is Pastor Obama from the video clip??
By longislander40 (37), hampton bays on Jan 14, 11 10:41 PM
If I had to listen any longer to Zellner, I'd keel over as well!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Jan 14, 11 11:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
There goes, Frank. Always looking for the insult. What do you have against Zellner? You don't like him because he is intelligent, thoughtful and a champion for civil rights. You dislike him because, as your posts clearly demonstrate, you disdain those of different racial, ethical and religious backgrounds.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Jan 16, 11 2:42 PM
1 member liked this comment
The Chief it appears is recovering just fine. Good news. He apparently felt the event he attended at Town Hall was important enough to get out of a sick bed to attend. The Southampton Press apparently does not...to date not one word of coverage.
By Viewpoint (26), Southampton on Jan 15, 11 8:00 AM
Who exactly do you think operates this Website?
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Jan 15, 11 6:01 PM
Feel better Mr. Coughlin, first thought he was upset about one of his cops getting his clock cleaned in a local bar recently at two in the morning before reporting for a day shift. Heard a felony arrest was made, funny how that doesnt make the police reports in the paper.
By ThatsIncredible (4), Westhampton Beach on Jan 15, 11 8:17 PM
A Mr. Whitney was arrested for punching a Quogue police officer and the incident was reported in the Jan 6th edition. Read the Press before being critical.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Jan 16, 11 7:42 AM
This thread is ridiculous. All we should care about is Bob's health and he will be fine. Dehydration from the flu.
By Old Quogue (11), Quogue on Jan 19, 11 9:48 AM
While I do hope Coughlin feels better, to say he is "well respected" is a complete joke. This is the Quogue PD folks - the worst of the worst and as dirty as they get.

Coughlin is no better than the last POS Chief - you know, the one who tore up the WHB 7-11 while wasted recently.

Well respected?? That's the funniest thing I have read here in a long time.
By G (342), Southampton on Jan 19, 11 10:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
G- After reading your mis-informed and stupid comment i took the time to review all of your other comments on this site, and they are as ridiculous as this one. It must be such a thrill to bad mouth people and their families without fear of retribution because of the anonymous nature of this site. You must have been a customer of the Quogue PD to harbor such resentment and ill-will towards he people who keep you safe. U sir, are a clown.
By Clarity (65), Whb on Jan 22, 11 12:05 PM