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Darren McCarty seeks protection from former pals

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Ex-Red Wing McCarty seeks safety from ex-pals

Pontiac — Darren McCarty has battled financial and substance abuse problems, but the retired Red Wings star and his new wife say in court papers that four ex-friends are harassing them after failing to draw McCarty back into a partying lifestyle.

McCarty, 40, and his wife, Sheryl, 37, got personal protection orders last month against three Oakland County women and a Macomb County man for stalking and harassment, Oakland Circuit Court records show.

The McCartys accuse the four of trying to get the couple fired from their jobs, threatening both through text messages and phone calls, posting malicious comments on McCarty's work and appearance websites, and threatening violence against them.

Oakland Circuit Judge Mary Ellen Brennan granted the protection orders on May 22 against Tonya Juhl, 37, and Kimberley Mitchell, 38, both of Clawson; Anne Marie Samulski, 22, of Royal Oak; and Louis Barbato, 40, of Shelby Township.

The orders, good for a year, bar Juhl, Mitchell, Samulski and Barbato from approaching, following or contacting the McCartys or going to their home or workplaces. McCarty works for the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association, and worked in the past year for a Detroit pawn shop; his wife is a nurse at Beaumont Hospital.

"All we want is to be left alone," McCarty said in an interview. "I ignored some of the things they were doing and was willing to let it go, until they started threatening my wife and me. Death threats.

"They don't like me because I'm not running around with them anymore, and they don't like her because we got married and just want to get on with our lives."

Sheryl McCarty described the four as "delusional, obsessed hockey fans."

"We like all the real fans, but these people don't love Darren, they love No. 25," she said, citing her husband's number. "And when they no longer had him around, they got mad."

Sheryl McCarty said she filed a complaint about harassing threats and emails with the Royal Oak police in late April, weeks after the couple married.

"We get a lot of these types of complaints, but there really isn't enough to warrant criminal charges at this time," said Royal Oak Police Lt. Thomas Goad. "We have contacted the people, and it remains under investigation."

Police recommended the McCartys seek the protection orders, Goad said. Violation could mean up to 93 days in jail.

Mitchell denied the couple's claims but would not elaborate.

"I can't say anything because of the personal protection order," she said. "What they say is totally false, and I have a lot more to say, but I don't want to go to jail."

Jeffrey Lance Abood, an attorney for Juhl, said he is looking into the claims. According to court records, Juhl and Samulski are waitresses who dated McCarty — apparently unbeknownst to each other — off and on from December 2009 to March 2010.

"We don't know what they are attempting to accomplish — there seems to be some vindictive ulterior motive to this because my client and another are former girlfriends of his," Abood said of the McCartys. "I don't know if Tonya even knows Sheryl."

Samulski and Barbato could not be reached for comment.

McCarty battles demons

In his Wings career, Darren McCarty was known as a tough guy, part of the "Grind Line" with Kirk Maltby and Kris Draper.

McCarty spent 13 seasons with Detroit, from 1993-2004 and 2007-09, and helped win four Stanley Cups. Fans still talk about how he pummeled Colorado Avalanche star Claude Lemieux during a brawl in March 1997.

But behind the glory was a man battling demons. McCarty liked to party and went through alcohol rehab in the 1990s.

He also ran up $185,000 in casino debts and filed for bankruptcy in 2005 to clear more than $6 million in debts. By then, he was divorced from his first wife.

In a letter filed in Oakland Circuit Court, Sheryl McCarty said her husband underwent regular drug and alcohol testing while with the Wings and "basically rebelled" after retiring in 2009.

"Darren started partying and surrounded himself with bad people due to the choices he was making. … Louis Barbato, Kimberly Mitchell, Tonya Juhl and Anne Marie Samulski are four of those people," she wrote.

In her letter, Sheryl McCarty said after her husband cut off contact with them, Mitchell began calling and sending her emails threatening that they were "going to kill me" or "hit me so hard my neck would break."

Sheryl McCarty also wrote that Barbato said Darren "needs to watch his back" and threatened to have people "throw a bomb through Darren's window."

In their protection order request, the McCartys allege Samulski made phone calls to both of them threatening their lives.

No incidents of violence were ever reported.

But Sheryl McCarty said her husband's former associates were "slandering him everywhere," including on radio station websites. She said they showed up at an event where her husband appeared on behalf of Danielle Probert, wife of his deceased teammate Bob Probert, took photos of him signing books and posted it along with "slanderous and threatening things."

At a DTE Mayhem Fest concert, Sheryl McCarty alleged that Juhl approached her husband with three men and yelled the guys were going to fight him.

"When they realized who he was, they changed their minds and walked away," she said. "But because of this, we don't go to a lot of concerts we would like to see because we don't want to run into these people."

Other charges -

The couple also allege the four:

Stalked McCarty at Joe Louis Arena and personal appearances.

Posted photos of his children on Facebook.

Spread a rumor that McCarty was selling drugs out of his basement, prompting a radio announcer to contact then-Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom.

"Darren works with the Ilitch organization and Red Wing alumni, including making personal appearances, and they have all been wonderful — we can't say enough about how they have stuck by him and tried to help him," Sheryl McCarty said.

"But at one point, he had to sit down with (general manager) Ken Holland and explain what was happening, the rumors these people were spreading and how he was clean."

Sheryl McCarty, who describes herself as a "country girl from Clare," said she met her husband through a mutual friend at an Irish festival in March 2010.

"I didn't know anything about hockey," she said. "I wondered who the big guy with the missing tooth was."

Sheryl McCarty said he was "very honest with me about his lifestyle."

"I told him I would never date him until he cleans up his life and gets all the bad people out of his life and makes better choices," she said. "It took him a few months, but he did."

Sheryl McCarty said she keeps her husband on vitamins and protein shakes. She has two children, and he has four from prior relationships. "We have a real Brady Bunch going," she said. "My job is to keep him healthy and keep the crazies away."

McCarty, meanwhile, said he enjoys being home rather than closing bars and is writing a book about his life on and off the ice.

"I guess it's a price of celebrity," he said.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120606/SPORTS0103/206060358#ixzz1wzgRZS00

Edited by Hockeytown0001

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Guest Shoreline

It's pretty sad when losers won't leave you alone, but I can't feel too bad because Darren put himself in the type of environment that gets him attention of this fashion. Even for non-celebrities people are aware that they should be fairly cautious who they hang around and what environment they put themselves in to avoid these very circumstances. Celebrities and NHL players are some of the most well prepped people in the world to deal with elements of ill-repute, Darren just "rebelled" (as they put it) so I mean, surprise surprise, when you hang around with the wrong people you find yourself in over your head in s***.

I just hope Darren learned his lesson and makes staying away from these type of people a permanent choice.

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It's always tough to see someone struggle so mightily with their demons. I sincerely hope that Darren is able to keep his life on the right track, and that this helps him turn the page on that stage of his life.

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Once you live a live like he has, it's nearly impossible to break free from it. It's sad and I wish him the best. He's a Detroit sports icon and I hope all these psychos leave him alone so he can continue rebuilding his life.

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It was very recently that there were multiple/regular McCarty sightings in several Troy/Clawson area bars. I don't know the bartenders myself, but I have heard from a few of my buddies that they call around to each other to limit alcohol servings to McCarty when he gets out of control, to prevent going to other nearby bars once he's "hit his limit" at some other place.

Who knows if its true, but its interesting that this article should pop up so recently after hearing that.

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Hopefully having all their names and locations publically published like this for all to see, in an area, and entire region, that absolutely loves the late 90s Wings and the old grind line, will be enough encouragement for them to knock that s*** off and leave Mac and his wife alone.

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Sometimes the hardest part of quitting is leaving behind your old friends and finding new ones. It's not just about leaving behind things, it's the people that go with them.

If you're using, you surround yourself with people who use and/or can supply you. They are not the most supportive people to help you quit, especially the ones who are not making money selling to you any more.

I'm glad Mac has found a good woman to keep himself clean, and I wish him luck staying that way.

He's my all-time favourite, so I'm pulling for him.

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Just goes to show that at least one constant in life is people naturally change - have new jobs, have to move onto different things, whatever. Sometimes you aren't going to be as close to somebody else in the future due to natural courses of events like a new job, lifestyle, meeting a significant other, whatever.

Also goes to show unfortuantely that some fans just can't keep themselves in check and go way off the deep end in their fandom or whatever to where others might get affected or hurt.

While we all like to have fun in whatever definitions we define, I hope McCarty can keep his social/entertainment life at low decibles and enjoy more quiet family time.

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