Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Man Arrested for Acting Heroic

Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, a Texas man was arrested after saving another man who was drowning in a river. Dave Newman jumped in despite orders by police not to do so. He was arrested for interfering with police business. The reports don't say exactly how he was interfering, but it seems to me he was doing police business more than anything else.

Unless he actively pushed police rescuers out of the way, the man did nothing wrong. What, we have to get police permission before acting heroic?


At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There must be more to this story. If not, the cops are jerks.

At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is more information to the story.


The cops may have had another agenda when they arrested Mr. Newman.

"In 1999, Texas State University, which owns the dam and the land around it, erected a fence to prohibit access to that part of the river. Later that year, the City Council enacted a swimming ban on that portion of the river. But Newman led a successful campaign to get the fences around the swimming hole removed and the ban relaxed."

At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This type of thing explains why many Americans think that Texas should have another 's' on the end of the name.

At 8:40 PM, Blogger J. James Mooney said...

As funny as the last comment wasn't, does it really elevate the debate?

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Sarah the Penguin said...

The answer to your question is really quite simple.

Because John or Jane Q. Public has not been trained in rescue safety and procedure, most of the time they wind up doing more harm than good when attempting to help someone in danger.

Most of the time the police/rescue units wind up having to save two people when there was only one in danger in the first place.
Sometimes a "do gooder" will injure the person they are trying to rescue because they are not trained in how to move an injured person.
At the very least, the emergency workers are saving the city/county taxpayers from having to pay for a lawsuit.
Emergency workers care about saving people more than they care about anything else.
The police were actually looking out for Mr. Newman. He was made an example of to keep other people out of danger.

It may seem cruel and stupid, but it simply HAS to be that way.

There was a human interest story I read a long time ago about a goat in Mexico that fell into a well.
The farmer who owned the goat fell into the well trying to save it and as a result needed someone to save him and his goat.
The story ends up with 6 people dead or badly injured and the goat being rescued by (wait for it...) a professional rescue team.

Lay off the cops. They have to do things that don't always make sense to the rest of us.

At 1:58 PM, Blogger J. James Mooney said...

He was made an example of to keep other people out of danger.

Thats a dangerous example to set. It tells the public, "call the police, but do more than that and we'll arrest you." I don't think thats the type of community values we want to instill.

The police should release the man and drop the charges, yes untrained people who try to help are often dangerous to victims in trouble, but I'm more concerned about the untrained people who don't try to help.

At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The police have an image to uphold, they, and they alone are the protectors. The message being sent is, "Don't you dare show us up, or you will go to jail!" I was once driving down a dark rural road early in the morning and noticed an odd reflection. Being the curious type, I stopped. It turned out to be an overturned car 50 or so feet into the woods. The driver was unresponsive and covered in blood, but still had a pulse. So I put my car in the middle of the road (lights and flashers on) to stop whomever came down the road next, while I attempted to keep the driver calm and warm. When someone finally stopped, I yelled for them to call the police (pre-cell phone days). When the police arrived, I was immediatly ordered to leave. I tried to ask if the driver was going to be OK, I was told to get in my car and leave, OR BE ARRESTED. I wasn't in any one's way, I wasn't asking alot of questions, I wasn't seeking recognition, I just wanted to know if the poor guy was going to be alright or not. My youthful and naive respect for the police prevented me from finding out. Twenty years later, I still don't know. If it evers happens again, I'll take my chances in jail.

At 10:11 PM, Blogger J. James Mooney said...

Anonymous we need more Americans like you. Bravo Zulu and keep charging.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger blogmuse said...

My mouth was gaping when I read Sarah's response...Mr Newman SAVED a drowning man....had he gotten out of the water when the police ordered him out that man would be DEAD....Each day in this country regular guys are there when you need them and they do some pretty heroic deeds. Imagine you have a wreck, choke on your lunch, are hit by a car. That UNTRAINED
DO-GOODER that comes to your aid BEFORE the trained professionals get there may just save your life....never mind you would rather die than take a chance with an untrained do-gooder. Me....bring on the do-gooders they may just help.

As for the police...they have a tough job, but they don't need to make it tougher by doing stupid things like arresting a good samaritan or a 10 year old protestor (South Florida, May 2005)


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