Father of Hummelstown bank robbery suspect sets up GoFundMe page for his son’s legal defense, rehab
HUMMELSTOWN — The father of a suspect in a Hummelstown bank robbery has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for his legal fees and to get him into drug rehabilitation, sparking controversy and comments on social media.
Ken Fruhwirth Jr., 31, is one of two suspects arrested on June 28 for allegedly robbing the Fulton Bank in Hummelstown. Police say they identified him through video footage from the bank and other nearby businesses. He and his alleged accomplice, Lindsey Sanderbeck, 27, were arrested later in the day.
On Thursday, Fruhwirth’s father, Ken Fruhwirth Sr., created a GoFundMe Page, saying his family is trying to raise $15,000 to help defray the cost of his son’s legal fees and help get him into drug rehabilitation.
The post was titled “Former Firefighter Needs Help,” and featured a picture of Ken Fruhwirth Jr. dressed in firefighting gear standing in front of a fire engine.
“Kenny was PROUD to be a volunteer fire fighter with Hummelstown Fire Department,” the post says. “He was part of the fire department for 10 years.”
Later in the post, Fruhwirth Sr. described the medical problems and chronic pain that he said led his son to begin using heroin and, eventually, turn to bank robbery.
“Kenny used poor judgement due to being in extreme pain, he did something that will and has affected him for the rest of his life,” he said in the post.
Fruhwirth Sr. closed the post with a final plea:
“My wife and I are trying to raise money for an attorney and to get Kenny into a rehabilitation facility,” he wrote. “Kenny will be turning 31 on July 14th. We are asking that instead of anyone giving Kenny any gifts, that you find it in your hearts to give us the gift of helping my wife and I to get our son the help he needs. And to bring back the son we know.
“Yes, we know that he has made some bad mistakes and that he needs to face them, which he is. However, we are trying our best to help him and the help he desperately needs. Please, help us do this, and please say a prayer for my wife, myself and for our son Kenny Jr.”
While some of the comments under the post expressed support and made suggestions to where Fruhwirth Jr. could get help, other comments were incredulous.
“All the money in the world won’t keep him off drugs…only he can do that,” one commenter said.
“This is total (expletive)!!!” another said. “They are just using this picture and the Fire Co. to get pity!!!!!! He has not been with the FireCo for years.”
In a statement on its Facebook page, the Hummelstown Fire Department said it did not want to be associated with any fundraising efforts.
“In the GoFundMe page it was stated that (Fruhwirth Jr.) was a member of the fire company with several awards over the years,” the statement says. “The page has a picture of Kenneth and the fire equipment of Company 46 and stated his involvement with the (company). This was used without permission of the (company).
“The fire (company) does not want to be affiliated in any way with this GoFundMe page. They are no longer members of this fire (company) and have not been for the last five years.”
To date, the GoFundMe page had not raised any donations.