Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Desperate People Do Desperate Things - by Patty Mooney
"Teens Kidnap, Torture Elderly Woman" - This is the kind of headline one hopes never to read, and yet this happened here in a neighboring town shortly before Christmas. Three teens are now incarcerated pending trial.
The charges against them range from robbery, kidnapping, forced imprisonment of an elder, physical abuse of an elder and torture. If convicted of the torture charges, all three could face life sentences. The 3 were arrested late Wednesday when a Sheriff's deputy spotted them and pulled over their car for running a red light. The victim, Natalie Sandy Vinge was discovered in the back of the station wagon. She was bound, gagged and had been savagely beaten. She told investigators one of the suspects was a salesman from a carpet company who sold her a $2,000 vacuum. She said he came back later, choked her until she passed out, tied her hands and feet and gagged her mouth with duct tape. When she woke up she was in the back of her own car, officials said. Vinje chewed through the duct tape and yelled for help when the car was parked at a gas station, but, no one heard her. Investigators said a man and woman then beat and punched her in the face several times. A shovel was also found in the car, indicating that Vinje "may have been on the way to her death," according to San Diego sheriff's Lt. Dennis Brugos.
A shovel was found in the car? What were these kids thinking? A 75-year-old woman deserves honor and respect, not elder abuse. When I think of the number of organizations and opportunities out there that cater to children and teens (far more than when I was growing up), it makes me wonder how these three simply missed the boat. And where were their parents?
As the economy plummets, we expect to see more stories of this nature. Wherever you go, especially if it is by yourself, be aware of your surroundings. Do not open the door to strangers. Even someone in a uniform (city worker, delivery person, etc.) is suspect, unless you recognize them or are expecting them. If possible, get a peephole installed in your front door. Have a motion detector mounted outside your front door, and your back door. You may want to adopt a pet dog, for companionship and "burglar alarm" capabilities.
We need to start thinking of ourselves, our neighbors, friends and family as a community, and work together to improve our lives. We need to make sure that everyone who wants one, can get an education. If these three kids had been in college or trade school, they probably never would have come up with this heinous scheme. As it is, we, the taxpayers, will now be footing the bill for their incarceration, food and shelter.
We need to be vigilant about how we raise our children. If a couple cannot spend enough quality time with their children, teaching them respect, social consciousness and a positive mental attitude, then maybe they should rethink the whole procreation thing. It's expensive to raise kids in this day and age and not everyone SHOULD have kids. We already have 6.5 billion people on the planet - and growing exponentially. Society does not need any more Luis Osbornes, Jeffrey Edward Nelsons, or Antoinette Bakers (the miscreants who tortured and kidnapped Ms. Vinge).