Archive for Thursday, January 18, 2007

Vandals smashing windows across Lawrence

January 18, 2007


On Saturday afternoon, Julie Steward's neighbor stopped by to ask if she knew her car window had been broken.

She didn't know. Steward, who uses a wheelchair, hadn't been out since the freezing rain began a day before.

Her first thoughts, she said, were of the $50,000 worth of specialized driving equipment in her car - equipment that allows her to drive. Steward has a form of muscular dystrophy and has been stuck at home since Friday.

"I live on a Social Security income, so that's a concern for me," Steward said.

The equipment was still there, but the window wasn't - the same as several of Steward's neighbors.

"I don't think that people realize how costly it is, and not just in dollars sometimes," said Kim Murphree, Lawrence police spokeswoman.

For the second time in the past few months, vandals smashed more than a dozen windows around the Lawrence area - most in eastern Lawrence, a part of town that has been hit hard by vandals before.

Eight of the 12 incidents happened in eastern Lawrence on Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island streets, where the 43-year-old Steward lives.

The damage in that area totaled more than $7,000 in broken car windows belonging to about a dozen people, police reported.

Other incidents occurred in southern Lawrence, including graffiti sprayed on two Iowa Street businesses, Associated Management and Advance Auto Parts, according to police reports.

Murphree said investigators would look into whether the incidents were related.

Steward said police told her they found a van that may have been involved in the vandalism and that they found baseball bats inside.

But police have not located any suspects.

But if any suspects are found, Steward said she'd show up in court to try to get back the nearly $500 she'll have to pay out of pocket to fix her window.

"I'll be there to fight if that's the case," she said.


Confrontation 11 years, 2 months ago

It sounds like some parents need to keep an eye on their idiot children.

JulieD 11 years, 2 months ago

Yes, I'm the person that this article spoke of.

People can take a lot of different angles on news stories. I know; I wanted to be a journalistic reporter when I first went to college. Because I use a wheelchair, I was refused funding to help with my tuition and books. Resultantly, I went into counseling. Life doesn't always happen like we think it should.

Life certainly didn't happen that way last weekend when I discovered that the window on my car had been smashed in. Yes, that's an added expense that I wasn't looking for. It will be taken care of.

It makes me think, however. When someone does unkind things to me, because I'm a Christian, I believe God will take care of me. He's done that enormously on several occasions.

But, who takes care of the one who commits these unkind acts? It may not be today, but, someday, those who involve themselves in this type of behavior will see that they've incurred a cost greater than they can bear. This article quoted over $7,000 worth of damage. But the cost to the person who committed this crime is much greater.

I don't know what lead to the act of vandalism, but I know what the act of vandalism will lead to in the future life of the young person or persons who were involved. Today might be the day to do something that will change the lives of these young people.

Indeed, I incurred a cost, but, the cost will be greater, over time, if this behavior is not dealt with now. There's a community of people around these young ones who can make a difference. I hope that community will be encouraged to take the steps that can turn these lives around.

I said I had resultantly went into counseling, because I was denied the opportunity to become a journalistic reporter. I made it sound as though it was reluctantly that I went into counseling, but, I've seen some incredible things because of this. I know that people can change, albeit by the grace of God, and I know that difficult situations can become opportunity for something positive.

In regards to the young people involved in the story, we can all pay now by doing some difficult work, or, we all will pay later. It's not just a dozen cars that's affected by this story. Allow something positive to happen in the lives of these young people by helping them to face the consequences, today, not later.

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