Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tragedy in Pahokee, FL

Last night, two guys stole a car in Belle Glade at 1:30 am. Because no one was on the road, the cops decided to pursue them in a high speed chase. As they neared Pahokee, two Pahokee cops (best friends) located a good place to blow the assailants' tires. In the dark, with their lights off, they placed a nail strip across the road. After the assailants flew through the strip, something went wrong: it was dark on the side of the road. There must have been confusion; they only had a second to pull the strip to keep the cop car from running through it. The cop car was racing toward the road block; the 23 year old in the road pulled the strip up at the last minute, no one really knows, but the chasing police car hit the officer in the road, (he must've seen him at the last minute) swerved and hit the officer standing on the side of the road, lost control, and crashed into a nearby canal. The two cops in the road were killed immediately, the cop driving survived. I'm not sure how lucky he is. It's not going to be an easy time ahead for him. These are the kinds of accidents I grew up hearing about.

In the air footage below, you can see how the canals run all along the roads in the Glades. So many lives lost in these canals.

As for the car thieves, (what a tragedy there, too. I don't envy their families.) One boy was caught on foot, and the other one is still at large. That night, he was running in the cane fields behind my grandmother's house. Choppers were searching her neighborhood with search lights all night. Can you imagine that feeling? Lights swooping across your yard, hearing noises, your hand resting on the phone, in case a chased convict breaks your door down.

The last time I remember being scared of a convict on the loose, I was living in Indiantown at the Brady's Ranch. Helicopters were searching a few miles away from us (my dad, his wife, me and my daughter were living together) and I said, "I'm not waiting around and hoping this doesn't turn out bad." I packed up my daughter Arielle (2-yrs-old at the time) and drove to the coast, to Stuart, and stayed with a friend. My dad thought I was a wus. I was. He liked to say: "but you lived in New York City" to which I would say, "This place is way scarier than NyC." There's something about being in the middle of nowhere that rattles you. There's no calling for help. The thing is, when you live in the boonies, you have to depend on defending yourself. It requires a tough, determined, confident demeanor and gun-familiarity. Gimme NyC any time.

See some news footage

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