Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A far too common, Senseless Tragedy

Today's blog is not about Historic Homes but rather about the Human condition.

Greg and I are both early risers and had already been up for a while at our Indy home when we noticed the "lights" at 5:30 this morning. No sirens, just lights. Being involved in the community crime watch in our neighborhood, I immediately knew something was wrong, very wrong.

Our neighborhood , thanks to years of hard work is about the safest in the city. Crime is a rarity. 10 years ago they called this neighborhood "dodge city" because you never knew when you would hear gunfire. Over the years the neighborhood changed and it has long been pointed to as a success story. The drugs are gone, the gangs and prostitutes are gone. A safe clean neighborhood where people go about their business and their kids can play safely.

Now when anything happens we always get prompt police response, maybe because its so rare, but when police car after police car appeared I knew there was an issue. The EMT's showed up, the ambulance showed up but they came and left.... too quickly.

The neighbors a few doors down the street were quiet, perhaps it was the language barrier, they were Hispanic and had moved into the house this spring. A house owned by a old man who died last year. It had a been a rental for a decade but it was impeccably maintained,the grass always mowed. When he died the family tried to sell it, asking FAR more than it was worth as it had never been updated and compared with the high end restorations around it , it looked "presentable enough" on the outside but the inside needed major work. After months of trying to sell, and reducing their price over and over, they put it up for auction. We never found out if it sold or they just decided to rent it out. In the condition the inside was in they never would have gotten the market rates in our neighborhood, the Hardwood floors covered with carpet, 60 amp electrical service and a kitchen out of the 1960's.

But this spring a young Hispanic couple with a young child moved in. There was some speculation about their immigration status ( not uncommon in our city) but they seemed quiet and nice, but they pretty much kept to themselves. We would see her pushing her son in the stroller up and down the street and often I'd see them playing in the back yard. They were kinda "out of place" in our neighborhood of mostly older professionals but they seemed nice enough, they were also quiet and they never got involved with neighborhood events or as far as I know ever made friends with some of the younger families with kids. But they seemed like your normal happy young couple, who came to this country seeking a better life and to raise their family.

Something went terribly wrong this morning. When the EMT's left too quickly and in the still dark morning I saw the crime tape being strung up we knew something bad, very bad, had happened. I immediately worried about the little boy and was relieved to see him being put in the back of a police cruiser, he was "OK".

We wondered just what was going on. I was tempted to go outside and maybe question one of the local beat cops I know but I realized they were working, this was serious and I would only be a distraction. It was still dark but from our front solarium I could see down the street. The porch light was on and there was our neighbor, he was on the front porch on his knees in handcuffs. He was surrounded by police officers.....this was not good.

I immediately sent out an email to our crime watch group letting them know something was going on, the street was closed off and people should just stay in and stay in and away from the media until we knew what was going on. The news crews were already pulling up and I turned the TV on. It didn't take long before Breaking News came on.
Apparently a domestic argument had gone terribly wrong and the husband had stabbed his wife to death. It's the kind of news you just aren't prepared to hear. Just the other day I saw them all playing in the back yard, a happy family. He is 27 she is just 21, according to the news reports they had been in this country for 4 years. He admitted to police what happened and he was taken into custody.

What is it they say? Your brain isn't fully developed until you are 25 and "wisdom and common sense' comes around 40?

For the next few hours the police cars were there. The mobile crime lab showed up and the technicians went about their job. The street was partially opened up and now the yellow crime scene tape crossed the front yard of the tidy house. School buses passed. There is school just down the street. No doubt the kids had their faces pressed to the windows trying to figure out what was going on.

One by one the police cars left and about 30 minutes ago the coroner van pulled up and two technicians removed her from the house. The Television cameras were gone, the plethora of police cars were gone. Nervous, anxious, neighbors had long retreated back into their homes and most had left for work.

The police removed the crime scene tape and now looks like any other house on any other day in our neighborhood. I can look out my window from my desk on the second floor of our house and see that house. I can see the back yard, filled with toys and a grill, just a normal backyard of a typical young family. That family is now changed forever.

I worry about their 2 year old son. I've never understood domestic violence and I will be the first to admit I know nothing of "macho' Hispanic culture. I just know it's wrong and I know some young child's life was forever changed because of anger that he neither caused or could have prevented, today he not only lost his mother but his father as well.

I can't imagine.

1 comment:

Karen Anne said...

Oh, crumb. At least it wasn't the little boy.

I don't think that has anything to do with Hispanic culture. Unfortunately, domestic violence is pervasive.