Tuesday, May 01, 2007

If Someone Was Being Kidnapped, What Would You Do?

York Dispatch - 17-year-old Dallastown student says he's proud he helped woman in attack If you're 17-year-old, Junior ROTC member Travis VanKuren, you go help.
"She looked over at me and started screaming for help," VanKuren said. The woman also screamed "help" at two other people in the parking lot who looked at her and walked away.

VanKuren didn't.

Instead, he decided to help, and police say what the 17-year-old did next saved a 42-year-old Manchester Township woman from a man who was impersonating a police officer and intended to kidnap and rape her.
He didn't tackle the guy, he just calmly walked over to him. When the goblin realized he had problems he tried to take the woman's SUV. VanKuren wasn't having any of that, either.
"I asked him: 'Sir, give me the lady's keys back,'" VanKuren said. "My heart was pounding a bit. I was scared because I didn't know what he'd do. But he looked just as scared as I was."
The goblin dropped the keys and walked away. Police caught up with him a little later.

The goblin is charged with attempted rape, attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, attempted kidnapping, impersonating a public servant and then some.

The good guys came out on top this time, thanks to an honorable 17-year-old.

What were those other people - the ones who just ignored a woman's screams for help - thinking? They couldn't be bothered to call 911? Why they really had to get into to the Wal-Mart (or get home)? Kitty Genovese must be spinning in her grave. We have not learned what civilization demands of us. Or as Ben Franklin said, "We must all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." You don't want to wish bad things on anyone, even those spineless wonders that ignored this situation, but I do hope they are haunted by thoughts of what might have happened if they were the ones screaming for help, while people just walked on by. The bad guys only win, when we let them.

[Hat tip to Something... and Half of Something. And no, he isn't saluting in the photo.]

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