A long, hot summer

By The West Virginia Record | Jun 29, 2006

Over the past several months, drug abuse has cost Charleston lawyer Dante DiTrapano his job, likely his law license and, until Aug. 23 it seems, his freedom.

For all of this, we're optimistic. Flush with cash, prestige and privilege, DiTrapano wasn't likely to make himself better until his comfort level got worse. Suffice to say, sitting alone in jail this Fourth of July has to at least resemble the 43 year-old's rock bottom.

We figure that's what Rand native and NFL star Randy Moss was thinking when he dropped DiTrapano, who some say was his best friend, as his agent several months back. So it goes for U.S. Magistrate Mary Stanley, who denied DiTrapano bond on his indictment for purchasing and possessing firearms while addicted to drugs, and for Dante's dad, fellow Charleston lawyer Rudy DiTrapano, who according to published reports, is holding his son's money in escrow -- out of touch -- while his travails run their course.

Call the whole tag-team "tough love," but given the horrible circumstances, can you really blame any of them?

The Record hasn't been been easy on Rudy DiTrapano in his professional life. But in this case, we're sure he's thinking about the long-term interests of not just his son but his two grandchildren.

Their mother, Teri, was on hand and arrested with her husband back in March when police seized 73 pieces of crack cocaine from their St. Petersburg, Fla., Hilton hotel room. She since has had another run-in with the law, charged with obstruction of justice in May, after berating a Charleston police officer who'd arrested their 18 year-old son for underage drinking.

Consider it all along with the dramatics of Mrs. DiTrapano's public appearances -- dropping a Moss t-shirt into a garbage can for TV cameras, for instance, after one of her husband's recent court hearings -- and we aren't envisaging a rock poised to keep Dante from feeding his drug habit.

To be sure, some characters just have a hard time being sympathetic. But self-inflicted misery still is misery, and only the sociopathic among us wish it upon anyone.

Here's hoping Dante DiTrapano uses this time alone to exorcise his demons and find redemption. We'd like nothing else than to report on as much -- and just as prolifically as we have his days of woe.

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