I’m not sure if any of you saw this:
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: October 5, 2007
Filed at 6:19 p.m. ET
NEW YORK (AP) -- A homeless man was critically injured Friday after he was set on fire outside a church where he had bedded down for the night.
Police were searching for three teenage boys in what homeless advocates say was one of the most severe and senseless attacks on a homeless victim in recent memory.
''I haven't heard of an incident like this in many years in New York,'' said Mary Brosnahan, executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless.
The torching of Felix Najera, 49, bewildered and stunned residents around Bethany Christian Church in upper Manhattan's East Harlem. The victim was a heavy drinker who would bum cigarettes from passers-by but otherwise was a harmless fixture.
''It's a shame,'' said Gary Williams. ''He doesn't bother anybody.''
Najera was sleeping on a cardboard box outside the church shortly after midnight when the teens accosted him. One pulled out a lighter and set his pant leg on fire while another went through his pockets, police said.
Investigators found no evidence he was doused with a flammable liquid, as originally suspected. When the victim stood up, the flames spread across his body, and the teens fled on foot, police said.
Najera was taken to the hospital in critical condition with burns covering 75 percent of his body, including his face, chest and stomach.
Other parts of the nation have seen recent spates of violence aimed at homeless people -- what some homeless advocates see as part of national trend.
In Cleveland, at least six homeless people were attacked during the first half of the year, including one person who was killed. A social worker claimed that bands of men carrying baseball bats and pipes were confronting homeless people on the street.
Last year, Florida had the highest number of extreme attacks -- 48 -- of any state, according to one report. The same report documented 142 attacks last year nationwide, 20 of which resulted in deaths -- a 65 percent increase from 2005.
Police say many of the attacks involve robbery. But homeless advocates -- noting that the vast majority of attackers are male and under the age of 25 -- believe the main motive is pure aggression.
In most cases, it's ''kids saying they were out trying to get some kicks,'' Brosnahan said.
on the news today, but it was headline news here, and rightly so!
It has been a long time since I was so horrified, disgusted, and appalled with the behavior of other individuals.
Where are the morals in today’s society? How could anyone ever think that it was acceptable to set someone else on fire? Reporters are speculating that this may have been done as an act of racist hate, the societal hierarchy, etc…..but I don’t care, it’s just plain wrong.
This is why family dinners are important, why little kids need to go to preschool and learn how to socialize with other children, why it’s okay for little boys to play house and for little girls to dig in the dirt and play with cars. Children need to have their minds stimulated, learn how to enjoy a good book, recognize that it’s okay to have a ‘day off’ of the social calendar! Kids need to be content with entertaining themselves; Know how to find fun in the simple things, and NOT feel the need to resort to torturing the innocent for a little bit of pleasure.
I guess this really rips at my heart because of nursing specialty. I’ll et you draw your own conclusions about where this man is being cared for….think about where I work.
He has greater than 70% burns to his body.
He has no family support.
He has no home.
He was the victim of unprovoked hate.
He’s got a hospital staff that cares and right now, that’s about all that can be offered.
So if you could all do me a favor and keep this man in your thoughts and prayers, I would be truly grateful.
Give your loved ones an extra big hug tonight, be thankful for the warm bed that you have, and say a prayer that someday morals will find their way back into society.