Friday, April 09, 2004


I came into work this morning to be greeted by the chaos of the night. A teen boy was dead - a victim of street racing. Witnesses say he was going very fast trying to outrun another car. Only a few miles from our home he lost the race...and his life.

He hit a curb, sailed through a wrought iron fence and into an oak tree, which toppled over from the force of the impact. He died in his daddy's red mustang. The other racer drove away.

Moments later a police source whispered to me over the phone that I might want to contact another officer as soon as possible. I called that officer, who was not ready for media inquiries, but he confirmed that a 17 year old gang member accused of running over another teenager was in custody. The boy had been the subject of an overnight manhunt.

It was a gruesome case. Witnesses say the victim was literally torn apart on the pavement as he was dragged for 900 feet under the suspect's car. He screamed most of the way.

The screams stopped when he lost the ability to breathe...when he lost his life.

It was a sad morning, but I have come to understand the mistakes of the young are too often fatal.

Another story that broke here this morning was somewhat different. It involved a fire at a convenience store. I knew when I heard the alarm it was the work of arsonist. Convenience stores don't usually catch fire, yet four in San Antonio have been torched in the past month.

All of the stores are owned by Muslims.

The fires prompted members of the Muslim community to demand action. They've been joined in their outrage by people of many faiths, and many colors. Rightly so.

In this incidence, a suspect was caught, so perhaps we can put this ugliness aside.

The community worked together to find out who was setting these fires, and catch him.

It seems like common sense doesn't it?