Chiropractor Glenn Scarpelli, 53, who committed suicide Friday along with his wife, Patricia Colant, 50, over financial problems, was known in his hometown of Manhattan as a “saint” who helped relieve joint pain for hundreds of 9/11 rescuers, according to a report in the New York Post on Saturday.
Scarpelli volunteered his time as a healthcare professional to help at the World Trade Center site after the 2001 terror attacks.
“We helped adjust for stressed and freaked-out firefighters, policemen, and anyone who needed help,” said Adam Lamb, a fellow chiropractor who volunteered alongside Scarpelli. “He was just an amazing, amazing, generous person.”
An estimated 1,500 chiropractors volunteered to help over the course of the nine months it took to complete the Ground Zero relief effort.
Scarpelli and Colant left detailed suicide notes before they jumped to their deaths from the ninth story of the building where his practice is located onto East 33rd Street in Murray Hill. They wrote that they “cannot live with” their “financial reality.”
“He just wanted to help people,” said chiropractor Amy Lambert, who rented a room in Scarpelli’s Madison Wellness Center.
Lambert said she used to volunteer alongside Scarpelli at soup kitchens throughout New York City, where he would adjust the backs of needy people. And, even in his own Madison Avenue practice, she recalled that Scarpelli “never turned anyone away if they couldn’t afford his services.”
The husband and wife each had in their pockets a plastic baggie which contained their ID and a typed suicide note. They left two children, Joseph, 19, and Isabella, 20, behind. Both had just graduated from the Upper East Side’s Loyola High School.
Scarpelli titled his suicide note, “WE HAD A WONDERFUL LIFE.’’
“Patricia and I had everything in life,” he wrote, before describing a “financial spiral’’ so horrible they thought the only way out of it was death.
Records showed the couple owed $23,304 in federal taxes. An April 2015 lien indicated a $232,295 debt.
Shocked by the suicides, Lambert said, “It’s so completely out of character for them. They were nothing but gentle, kind and grounded.”
The New York Post mentioned that Scarpelli’s father, Joseph Scarpelli, was a former Mayor of Brick Township, New Jersey. He served 18 months in federal prison for taking bribes from a developer to gain approval for construction projects while in office.
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