- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
HICKS: Searching for a moral to story of immorality
Halloween came and went, but Marion Salmon Hedges wasn’t able to hand out the hundreds of dollars worth of candy she purchased for the underprivileged children who annually visit her Manhattan neighborhood.
Instead, she has spent the past 10 days in a medically induced coma at New York’s Harlem Hospital Center.
Mrs. Hedges was the victim of a “prank” by two 12-year-old boys who apparently thought it would be funny to drop a shopping cart from a fourth-story walkway connecting a parking garage to the East River Plaza shopping center.
On Friday in family court, the boys pleaded not guilty to first-degree felony assault charges. The attorney for one of the boys argued for his release to his family pending trial on the grounds that he didn’t mean to harm anyone when he pushed the cart off the skyway. Unmoved, the judge remanded both boys to juvenile custody and ordered them to appear again on Nov. 18.
This is a story seeking a moral.
By all accounts, Mrs. Hedges is truly a remarkable woman. A wife and mother of two teens (her 13-year-old son was with her when she was hit by the cart), she is widely known for her energetic service to her community. She sits on numerous boards and committees, is a leader in the Junior League of New York and works as a real estate agent.
Michael Hedges, her husband, when asked whether he is angry with the boys responsible for his wife’s near-fatal injuries, is quoted as saying, “They’re not adults. They’re children, and children who have been left on their own without supervision.”
The inexplicably compassionate Mr. Hedges apparently believes the boys themselves are victims and therefore are not responsible for their actions.
So is the moral of the story: Children cannot be expected to know right from wrong? Or is it that children living in difficult socioeconomic circumstances are typically unsupervised and therefore not taught right from wrong?
Surveillance tapes reveal that a 14-year-old passer-by stopped the boys’ initial attempt to toss a cart over the walkway, telling them not to do it. But after they relinquished the cart to him and he ran away, the boys found another one and successfully pitched it onto the unsuspecting Mrs. Hedges.
So perhaps the moral of the story has to do with defining some magic age for moral discernment. If 12 is too young, maybe 14 is reasonable.
At least one report quotes a neighbor as saying Jeovanni is the “baddest boy” in his public housing building, which might explain why he was able to sneak out of the house and go to the mall without permission.
But Jeovanni’s grandmother, Ana Cespedes, 89, told the Daily News that the boy’s mother is a good mom who does supervise him. Ms. Cespedes said her grandson should stay in juvenile detention because “he doesn’t obey when someone tells him to do the right thing.”
Perhaps the moral is something like: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warns Pakistani leaders of U.S. aid losses over drone-strike protests
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Crystal Wright is a black conservative woman living in Washington, D.C.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow