Surgical Souvenir: Florida Surgeon Charged After Lying to Police and Palming a Slug Taken From a Suspect as a Souvenir

david_ciesla_20090716202302_320_240.JPG180px-CE399sideDr. David J. Ciesla now know the perils of souvenir hunting in surgeries. The Florida surgeon and medical director of the trauma center at Tampa General Hospital is facing criminal charges after adding that he lied to police when he said that he could not retrieve two bullets from a suspect in a homicide case. He later admitted that he had removed one slug but decided to keep it as a cool souvenir.

Ciesla is now charged with providing false information to law enforcement during an investigation and obstructing or opposing an officer without violence.

What is most remarkable is that detectives were waiting outside the operating room for four hours to retrieve the slugs. Yet, Ciesla, 42, still felt that he could just lie and pocket the one slug that he was able to recover. Another doctor, Dr. Sergio Alvarez, eventually told the police about the swiped slug.

The suspect Thomas Ford McCoy Jr., 42, had been shot twice by a deputy U.S. marshal. He is suspected of killing a Coca-Cola employee who was stocking a vending machine in the Florida Panhandle. Ciesla removed one slug from the suspect’s liver and then palmed it by slipping it under his surgical glove.

For the full story, click here.

27 thoughts on “Surgical Souvenir: Florida Surgeon Charged After Lying to Police and Palming a Slug Taken From a Suspect as a Souvenir”

  1. Jim Byrne:

    “(I’m a big fan of cole slow. I could put cole slaw in the dessert column.)”

    Amen, brother. Here’s a great recipe from our far eastern cousins:


    * 1 head green cabbage, shredded
    * 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
    * 1 tablespoon salt
    * 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
    * 1/4 cup soy sauce
    * 2 tablespoons sesame oil
    * 1/2 teaspoon chile paste
    * 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
    * 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
    * 2 carrots, shredded
    * 1 cup bean sprouts
    * 4 scallions, julienned on the bias
    * Salt and pepper, to taste
    * 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish


    Toss the cabbage together in a large colander and set in the sink. Sprinkle the cabbage with salt and let stand for 15 minutes. The salt draws out some of its moisture so that the slaw remains crunchy.

    In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, oil, chile paste, peanut butter, and ginger. Toss together with the cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts and scallions; season with salt and pepper. Garnish with sesame seeds before serving.

  2. mespo

    “homemade cole slaw”


    A couple of summers a go, I experimented with my own cole slaw recipes. I added a little rasberry balsamic vinegarette. (store it in the fridge for about an hour to let the aromatic effect temper.) -Even those that are not cole slaw fans seemed to enjoy it.

    (I’m a big fan of cole slow. I could put cole slaw in the dessert column.)

  3. While it’s not “deep dish”, Pagliai’s Pizza in Iowa City, Iowa is terrific. (There may be one in Ames, IA, and there used to be another one near Grinnell.) Armand Pagliai started the business and his sons took over when he retired. (I enjoy Chicago’s Pizzaria Uno, as well.)

    My father used to make his own scrapple and, while I hate to admit it, it grew on me over the years. It’s good with a little maple syrup. Grits grew on me too, especially when cooked up with cheese. Must be the maple syrup and cheese, respectively.

    I must say that most of the foods that have been mentioned in this thread sound pretty good, especially since it’s almost time for dinner.

    And I, too, appreciate the digression.

  4. Hey Hans:

    what do you eat sour puss? everything but scrapple sounds good to me.

  5. AY:

    “Fried Okra, Kale, Ham Steak with Red eye Gravy, Grits with butter, Mashed Potatoes and Iced Tea with a lime. Now we are talking.Cannot compare with Deep Dish Pizza from Chicago, I will agree.”


    I’ll see your Chicagoland heart attack maker, and raise you a slow cooked pork shoulder bathing in good ol’ Virginia tomato-based barbeque sauce (not that briny North Carolina soup) sided with homemade cole slaw and topped off with an icy limeade.

  6. Hans/NPO:

    It is the pitiable disposition who cannot tolerate an occasional and delicious digression!

  7. My, this discussion has degenerated quickly. It’s like hearing flies discuss which turd tastes better.

  8. Mespo,
    Be nice when you are talking about Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. The Professor is exactly correct. There is no better food than Chicago-style pizza. Even if the Scrapple’s aren’t available, sausage will do just fine. I can’t agree with Swarthmore Mom about Lou Malnati’s being the best. I prefer Gino’s or Uno’s or a lesser known place called Pequod’s in Lincoln Park. Awesome Pizza. Is it dinner time yet??

  9. Chicago Pizza is the best pizza in the world. When I lived there I went to Uno’s and Gino’s east. Now when we visit we go to Lou Malnati’s on Lincon Ave. I think it is the original. I don’t eat the hotdogs much but I recommend Irvings Redhots in Wilmette.It’s the celery salt, sport peppers, etc.. that make the hot dogs unique.In Texas , it is the mexican food people crave. When my kids come home, they want their first meal to be mexican food.

  10. Fried Okra, Kale, Ham Steak with Red eye Gravy, Grits with butter, Mashed Potatoes and Iced Tea with a lime. Now we are talking.

    Cannot compare with Deep Dish Pizza from Chicago, I will agree.

  11. why anyone would touch scrapple let alone eat it, is one of life’s’ great mysteries.

    The surgeon probably had it for breakfast that day and was unable to think straight. Maybe he can claim mental incompetence by reason of gastritis.

  12. JT:

    Must I remind you of that unfortunate Upton Sinclair book. Does one sterilize the food before dining in the Windy City? 🙂

  13. Shrimp n grits, and a bowl of she crab soup (with a shot of sherry).

    Talk of surgery always make me hungry.

    Notice how I avoided being completely off topic 8>)

  14. AY:

    You are missing out on Old Bay laced blue crabs, fried green tomatoes, grits, and my favorite, Scrapple. And those collards cooked in hock water. Wow!!! I am a happy product of my environment. See if JT, can match that with his Chicagoland fare: deep dish pizza and hot dogs with cole slaw on ’em, Pishaw!

    1. Mespo:

      How dare you speak of Scrapple and Deep-pan pizza. You dirty Chicago cuisine with your words. Deep-pan pizza is not just a culinary triumph but an architectural wonder. Whatever scrapple may be (Scrapple animals have not been seen for years), it could not garnish a dish of deep-pan pizza.

  15. mespo,

    I refuse to eat fried bologna. Spam, now that is a totally different story.

  16. AY:

    “No we from the south enjoy out sweet tea and dr pepper.”


    Personally here in Virginia it was either RC’s or “Crass Orange” or, maybe even, the once ubiquitous “Nugrape”! Oh, and by the way, if anyone thinks enjoying a “Moonpie,” is a racial slur, that poor soul has never had one.

  17. No we from the south enjoy out sweet tea and dr pepper. I fail to see why a respected surgeon would do something like this. The logic escapes me.

  18. Everyone knows that the best part is when the doctor removing the slug drops it into the metal pan and it makes that sound. And now we know why they do that.

Comments are closed.