Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bad Stories Come in Threes

Warning: This is going to be a post you may not want to read. A post the folks over at BoingBoing might say requires a "unicorn chaser" (a soothing, positive image they post to get a negative story out of everyone's heads).

It was the third story that finally compelled me to write this. Friday's Pioneer Press -- which arrived soaking wet and so therefore didn't get read until evening after it had a chance to dry out -- put it at the top of the Local section: "Cops: Dad hit son over shirt color."

The story, by Mara Gottfried, relayed how a 30-year-old man beat his 4-year-old son because he was wearing a blue shirt.

Why? Because Dad is part of the Bloods gang, and blue is a rival gang's color. This man is 30 years old. 30.

The second story, from this past week. A 20-year-old woman flees the scene of an illegal street race around midnight in the Midway neighborhood. She roars down the side streets, around corners and finally runs the red light at University Avenue going at least 60 mph, instantly killing a man named Moussa Ould Maayif, who was on his way home from an evening gathering where he had broken his Ramadan fast.

The woman, Jacqueline Wagner, "turned south in the northbound lane of Vandalia Street — passing traffic again. She then drove into the intersection of Vandalia and University at full speed, running the red light, and hit Maayif's eastbound vehicle on the [driver's] side..."

For those not from the Twin Cities, University Avenue is a major thoroughfare connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul. It's four lanes wide, plus parking -- a busy street at any time. The idea of a person running a red light across University at 60 miles an hour is insane.

The first story, from back in July, also in the Pioneer Press (though no longer available on their site): A 21-year-old woman named Angel Marie Rawls (with a female friend) prank called her grandmother because they were "bored" and "wanted to have some fun." They threatened grandma with phrases like "I'm gonna kill you," "You're going to die" and "I'm watching you." The PiPress story says:

Just after midnight on Feb. 5, police responded to the home of a 69-year-old Forest Lake woman and her 81-year-old husband on a report of a possible prowler. Dispatchers also told police the woman had been receiving harassing phone calls.

While officers were at the home, the phone rang more than 20 times. The officers answered some of the calls, which came from a restricted number, and heard a female caller threaten to kill the woman, addressing her by her first name.

When one officer identified himself as police, the caller refused to give her name but said she was calling because she wanted the woman and man to get help.

The officers told the woman to turn her phone off, but she contacted them again at 9:30 p.m. to say more calls had come in.

In all, the pranksters called Rawls' grandmother more than 45 times on Feb. 5, according to phone records subpoenaed by police.

Johnson [the friend] told police she knew it was illegal to make the calls but wasn't thinking when they did it.
These three stories are not related, but they all involve people who acted without thought, and more than that, in a way that is incomprehensible.

It's odd to say, but I actually hope they were all drinking or taking some type of drug at the time, because that would at least begin to explain their complete lack of judgment and inability to acknowledge that there are other people in the world outside themselves.

(Thanks for listening.)

1 comment:

Ms Sparrow said...

Obviously these nasty people couldn't be "from here". Minnesotans are good people and we don't torment our grandmas or run red lights or worship gangs (for crying out loud)!

And if they are--Stop the World, I want to get off!