Cape Gazette

VIDEO: Community erases BayBees

Bradley buildings come down

By Ryan Mavity | Oct 11, 2011
Photo by: Ron MacArthur A crew was busy early Monday morning Oct. 10 tearing down buildings.
Earl Bradley offices come down
Excavators have some fun with the yellow Volkswagen Beetle that used to sit in front of convicted rapist Earl Bradley's BayBees Pediatrics office in Lewes. (Video by: Ryan Mavity)
Bradley building demolition
An excavator tears apart the white, checkerboard outbuilding that was an office of convicted rapist Earl Bradley. Watch in the end as another excavator lifts a car in the air. (Video by: Ryan Mavity)

Lewes — The offices of convicted rapist Earl Bradley are no more. The Oct. 10 demolition erased the place where Bradley sexually assaulted his child patients.

“He ought to be in there,” David Lear said as cranes tore apart the buildings. “I’m here for my daughter. If it were up to me, he’d be hanging in Georgetown right there in The Circle because that’s what should happen to him. I don’t think it's right for the taxpayer to pay for somebody to stay in jail for what he’s done.”

Lear’s wife, Kim, fighting back tears, said, “I needed to be here for my daughter. Not for me, for her. What Bradley did is unconscionable. He deserves to die.”

The Lears were among very few victims of Bradley’s crimes to attend the demolition. Witnesses to the demolition of Bradley’s BayBees Pediatrics office were mostly workers, Delaware State Police officers and Department of Justice officials. Community members also attended, and passing motorists honked their horns in support.

Attorney General Joseph “Beau” Biden III said, “I never want to see these buildings again. And I don’t want anyone that lived through this tragedy, especially the survivors, ever have to see anything that reminds them of what happened on this property.”

The crowd was subdued but a cheer went up when the yellow Volkswagen Beetle with the BayBees Pediatrics logo was used as a wrecking ball on one of the outbuildings. The car used to sit in front of the office building, and it was flattened like a pancake by three excavators to get it into a Dumpster.

The demolition was organized by Millsboro contractor Harry Caswell, working with the property’s new owner, Bruce Geyer. When he purchased the property after Fulton Bank foreclosed on it, Geyer vowed to tear down the buildings. He teamed up with Caswell, who had volunteered to tear down the buildings and helped organize manpower, trucks and landfill space. J.R. Mocci Company, First State Disposal and the city of Rehoboth Beach were among those providing equipment.

“I’m overwhelmed,” Caswell said. “When I saw the car go through the roof, that was perfect.”

David Lear said of Caswell, “I cannot thank him enough, from the bottom of my heart. This is the best thing to ever happen.”

Geyer said, “It’s a great thing. It means a lot. This is one thing where everyone’s been on the same page. It has to go, and the sooner the better.”

Caswell, who went through the building prior to the demolition, said the building was the same as it was the day Bradley was arrested in December 2009. He said the buildings were still full of Bradley’s personal effects; the basement was full of freezers, desks and refrigerators. Once the outer walls came down, toys could be seen everywhere. Caswell said cameras were everywhere, and there were toys in every exam room.

“When we walked in there, it was just like the day the doors were shut. The office was set up and everything. It was very eerie,” Caswell said.

Twenty Dumpsters were used in the demolition, and Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, said 45 members of the General Assembly helped donate their tipping credits to offset the cost at the landfill.

“I think it’s a good day for our community to get rid of this constant reminder of all the terror that’s gone on here,” Schwartzkopf said.

Besides the construction crews that pitched in to demolish the building, Fairway Village contributed a staging area and Lazy Susan’s helped provide parking and a place to sit for anyone who wanted a break.

Lazy Susan's owner Susan Fluharty said of the demolition, “I am excited. I have prayed for this, trust me. I know Harry very well, and my stepson, Clint, is running one of the excavators. I do recall meeting Dr. Bradley when I moved into my new place, and even I picked up he was a weirdo, and I’m slow on the uptake.”

Spectator Lawrence Snavely of Broadkill Beach said, “I’m happy to see it go. For a lot of the people that had something happen with their kids, I know they’re happy.”

Herself a survivor of child abuse, Lana Lawrence said she had to be present for the demotion. Lawrence moved to Rehoboth Beach as she was recovering from an illness and was not in the area long before Bradley’s arrest, which triggered her own painful memories.

“A lot of people who were not associated with Bradley per se have been majorly triggered by this,” she said. “Having to drive by here every day just to go anywhere in the neighborhood – it’s been horrible.”

Lawrence said not only children but also parents involved in this case have been victimized.

“Every time I hear a parent blamed for this, I want to shake the person. The parents are victims, too. We cannot blame them. We’re taught to respect people in authority, especially doctors,” which, she said, makes it difficult for many parents to question what a doctor is doing.

Speaking of parents involved in the case, she said, “Please don’t blame yourselves,” she said. “Thank God you’re there to support your children.”

“The parents were horribly traumatized,” she said. “I wish I could wrap my arms around all of them and say thank you for being there for your kids.”

Lawrence said it was important for the buildings to come down. Quietly, she added, “I hope this doesn’t symbolize burying the problem or erasing the problem from our consciousness."

Deputy Attorney General Paula Ryan, who prosecuted Bradley, said, “It’s very satisfying. You can’t erase the memory of what happened here, but this is something that goes a long way toward the healing of the community and these families, to not have this constant reminder every time they drop by. It’s a good day.”



J.R. Mocci smashes a Volkswagen used by convicted rapist Earl Bradley during demolition of his office complex along Route 1. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
A volunteer crew starts demolition work at 7 a.m. Oct. 10; the first hit was done on the main office building. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Demolition work begins on one of three buildings in the complex. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
A merry-go-round wheel is picked up to be placed in a large roll-off container destined for the landfill. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, left, and Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf are present at the demolition. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Three excavators work in tandem to smash a car used by Bradley to advertise his practice. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
A small ferris wheel is lifted skyward by one of three excavators. The ferris wheel was the center piece of the  former BayBees Pediatrics office complex along Route 1. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Work progresses on demolition of the main office. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
A small stuffed toy is among hundreds thrown out during the demolition project. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
The first building to go down is a rear storage area adjacent to the main office. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
An excavator moves into a hole to start filling in dirt in the basement of the main office building. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Harry Caswell is the man who put the demolition plan into action. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Excavators remove the last piles of debris from the former BayBees Pediatrics office complex. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
By mid-afternoon crews had leveled the buildings and were in the process of finishing off the site. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
By early afternoon, the former BayBees buildings are demolished. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Piles and piles of debris are removed from the site of the former BayBees office complex. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Among the vehicles removed from the site is a Volkswagen bus. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
An excavator lifts the BayBees VW to place it in a dumpster. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
A sign serves as reminder of the "playland" created at the former pediatrician's office. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
A large storage area is revealed in one of the two outbuildings. (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
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