I thought I would reply by updating the original post, but it appears that replying notifies the other participants that a reply was made - sorry. Here goes again
To clarify the situation a bit, the red LED is significant, since it means that I can't restart the Pi. Once I shut the Pi down (sudo shutdown now), I wait until I see all of the frantic activity ...
If setup with hdmi no power , the screen will never be waken up.
But if not,
From document Switching off HDMI,
if you want to switch off the video display entirely, you can use the vcgencmd command,
vcgencmd display_power 0
Video will not come back on until you reboot or switch it back on:
vcgencmd display_power 1
i know the pi is working due to the red light being on
If that's all that's on then it is not booting, so yes you can pull the plug. There is a green led (ACT) next to the red led (PWR), "ACT" I believe referring to that by default it indicates activity on the SD card reader. If that never happens, then the SD card is not formatted properly or ...