Thursday, June 09, 2005


Jon U, a 29 year-old good Samaritan, died Wednesday evening at a suburban Kansas City hospital from injuries received on May 20th while helping a woman whose purse was being stolen.
Police said U heard Ruth Peck's screams on the afternoon of May 20 as she struggled with a man who wrenched her purse away from her in a busy Olathe parking lot. U dashed after the thief and tried to retrieve the purse, reaching inside the getaway car. As they wrestled, the car sped away from the area of the Target store on West 119th Street with U being dragged alongside. The car hit a building, and U was pinned between it and the car. As others pursued the thief and held him for police, U was sprawled on the ground.
The charges against Brad Joseph Jones have been upgraded to felony murder. He had just been paroled from prison on May 12th after serving time for other purse robberies.

In hindsight, it's easy to say that Ruth Peck should have just let the purse go and Jon U should have remained a bystander. But it's my guess that each of them acted instinctivley. Ruth fought against wrong and Jon came to help.

U's wife, Stephanie is expecting their first child in August.

What would you do in these circumstances? Would you stop to think first or would you just act? And what does it say about our penal system that a thief would return to stealing just eight days on parole?

(Ruth Peck is an old acquaintance of mine. Thanks to tomw, another friend of Ruth's, for letting me know).

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