On Friday night, January 26, 2007, at 7:10 p.m., my wife and I were returning from Cafe Roma to our car parked at The Lumberyard. My wife suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and I was having difficulty getting her up the hill with one hand holding our take-out dinner and the other hand pushing her up the steep grade.
Out of the darkness appears a drunk young man shouting at us, yelling obscenities, getting in my face, inviting me to fight, all the while carrying a six-pack of beer consisting of five empties and one capped bottle.
Friends drove into the Lumberyard to park and joined me in telling the drunk aggressor that my wife was sick and I was taking her home. To no avail. The shouting, ranting, raving and consistent use of the “F” word continued. He pushed me to the ground resulting in a bruised knee and a cut hand.
The police arrived (called by Ten Tables). Officer 135 told the drunk to go (which he did) and told me to go home. At that point I questioned the police officer’s handling of the situation and asked why he was allowing the bully to just leave — why not arrest him for disturbing the peace, drunk behavior, etc., etc. His response was “this is America.” What sense does that make? I picked up my wife off the ground, went to our car and went home.
I find the police handling of this situation completely inadequate. This was not a bar-room brawl of two drunks arguing about the Super Bowl. This was a 76-year-old man with a wife in the late stages of Alzheimer’s trying to get up the hill when we are attacked by this young (about 25) drunk. The quick dismissing of the situation by the police sends a message to the community that any drunk can mount such an attack and get away with it. The police are losing control, if it is not already lost.
The new administration, including our St. John representative, has pledged better police performance. I hope they read this letter.
Note: Efforts to discuss this situation with police chief Angelo Hill before sending this to the Tradewinds were in vain.
Richard W. Corkhill