A slight break from my movie posts (there will be one tomorrow) in the middle of this heat wave (95 yesterday, 92 today, 95 tomorrow).

The news from Hartford this past week, complete with video, was horrifying; an elderly man struck by a car and left in the road with passing motorists ignoring him.  It makes you wonder what kind of world we live in.  It also makes you ask yourself how you would react and if you’d do the right thing.

I don’t have to wonder.  I already know what kind of world we live in.  I already know how I would react.  Because I have already been there.  My college roommate George and I faced this same situation almost exactly 10 years ago at a Burger King in Cornelius, OR.

We walked in past a bunch of guys who were looking rather nervous.  After we got in a long line (at least ten people), I turned in time to see one of the guys punch another one.  The one who was punched fell on the ground and bashed his head.  The other guys all left, driving off.

I yelled for an employee to call 911.  Then, out of 20 some people in there, not including all the employees, 3 of us went outside.  Me, George, and one elderly man.

The guy was on the ground, unconscious, with blood oozing out of his head.  He had smashed it badly on the concrete.  George went back in and yelled for some employees to bring us some napkins.  We used it to try to stop the bleeding while we waited what seemed forever for the ambulance.

Nothing George or I (or the other man) could do could save him.  He might have still been alive when the paramedics finally arrived, or he might have died when we were trying to help him.  He had simply lost too much blood.  The guy who died had actually brought it on himself.  He had provoked the guy who punched him and asked him to go outside and settle it.  He had been the aggressor to the point that the grand jury I testified in front of declined to make an indictment.

But the fact of the matter is that something awful happened right in front of us.  And 90% of the people there ignored it.  But George and I did what we could to try and save someone we didn’t know from dying.  So at least I know my answer.

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