Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
On Saturday evening, January 12, 2013, my seventeen year-old son took a brutal beating that involved at least two, if not three people. To make matters worse, my son was not even conscious when the beating took place. He had been at a party with at least five other kids where unfortunately there was drinking involved. The suspects waited until my son passed out and beat him nearly to death. As if this isn’t bad enough, pictures were taken of the assault as it was happening. I have only been able to get a hold of one of these pictures and if I were to be honest, I wish I could block it from my memory forever. The brutality of the picture is disgusting. It shows my son unconscious lying in a pool of his own blood with a fist flying toward his face. It’s nothing short of appalling. The injuries that my son was left with after this beating were horrific and he’s not out of the woods yet. His right eardrum was ruptured due to numerous kicks to the head; both eyes were swollen shut; his nose was fractured; his upper and lower lip were busted wide open; he had lacerations all over his face and head; he was so swollen that he was nearly unrecognizable.
As much as I love the community of Wrangell, I’m truly disgusted with our local law enforcement. I took my son right in to the police department and made him give a statement regarding who was involved in the incident and anything else he could report to help out with the investigation. While I understand that some of the named suspects are minors and there are certain guidelines to follow, two of the named suspects are adults. One of the named suspects is not only an adult, but also the contributor of the alcohol. To my knowledge, this adult has not been charged with anything. The other adult that was named as a suspect was questioned nearly a week after the incident because the officer that has been assigned to my son’s case stated, “I don’t have a good rapport with the suspect so I would like to wait for one of the other officers to question him.” So far the only suspect that has been charged is a minor who was never even brought in for questioning because his parents wouldn’t allow it. If it weren’t for the picture and my son stating that he got a confessed apology from the suspect, he wouldn’t have even been charged.
For the past four days, I have been pounding the pavement and rattling doors trying to find out who was involved in the incident that nearly took my son’s life while the local law enforcement have done nothing more than wait to see what I can drum up. I find it absolutely appalling that any one of these officers would gear up to go the moon and back if there was an underage party going on or a minor caught smoking a cigarette but when it comes to something as serious as what happened to my son, there seems to be a legality on every corner to stop them from doing what needs to be done.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened here and I can guarantee you, it won’t be the last. I want each and every parent in this community to be aware that this could very easily have been your child lying unconscious being beaten within an inch of their life and truly at the mercy of people that can’t even be categorized as human. What would you do and where would you stop to make sure justice is served?
Jennifer Stevens Olson