I read a good news story about an average guy who rescued an 8 year old girl who had been abducted and sexually assaulted by a creep in Fresno, California. Have you heard about this? Ahhh, probably not.
Did you hear the story about the airline steward who jumped from a plane? Yes! That was big news!
Did you hear the one about the party crashers at the White House? Yes again! That also was big news.
Have you been constantly reminded about Lindsay Lohan’s latest stupid behavior? Yes, yes, and yes again. So why have you not heard about Victor Perez who gave chase in his own pickup truck when he recognized the vehicle matching the description of the one used in the abduction?
I have the simple and sad answer to that question. Take one part human nature (where the unusual, exotic, creepy, and horrific stimulate more of a reaction than sweetness and compassion), add one part media attention to the bizarre and to people behaving badly, and finally one part the reward given to those who act out everyone’s adolescent urges to be free of all restraints of morality and common decency. In other words: bad behavior gets more attention than good because of the universal yearnings to have the power to say “screw everyone – I’ll do my own thing, and if you don’t like it, tough on you!”
Mr. Perez noticed the car passing by while he was chatting with his cousin. He could have simply called 911 and not gotten involved, but he yelled for his cousin to make the call and then hopped in his truck and took chase, cutting the bad guy off a number of times. At first, he wasn’t sure it was the bad guy, until the little girl stuck her head out the window.
That was all it took for Mr. Perez to get into gear. He exchanged words with the abductor who kept trying to hide the girl, and then finally just cut him off so the bad guy had to stop, at which time he pushed the girl out of the truck and took off.
The bad guy, Gregorio Gonzales, is a gang banger on probation no less (someone’s head should roll!) for a felony domestic violence conviction with numerous arrests, including suspicion of possessing a sawed-off shotgun.
It did cross Mr. Perez’s mind that this creep could have a gun and shoot him, but that didn’t deter him from trying to help the little girl. That’s the thing about good guys – they tend to forge ahead in spite of possible injury or even death. When asked why he did that, Mr. Perez answered simply: “It was the right thing to do.”
According to the news report from www.msnbc.com, two other adults saw what was happening when a stranger approached a group of children, and they shouted for the girls to run away. That’s all. They shouted. They didn’t run towards him. They didn’t run into the street to force him to stop or swerve. They shouted.
Mr. Perez put his life on the line.
That is one of the reasons bad guys feel emboldened to snatch kids off the street in broad daylight: they know there are very few “Mr. Perezes.”