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Inaction in Turklock boy's killing called justified

Experts: Justified That Witnesses Didn't Stop Toddler's Murder

Police and psychologists say that the inaction of those who witnessed a 27-year-old California man beat his 2-year-old son to death on the side of the road was justified. The savage incident in which the grocery store working father pulled over to stomp and beat the innocent boy occurred Saturday night. None of the people at the scene, including a volunteer firefighter, intervened to stop the fatal beating.

Experts say that violent emergencies can result in shock, and thus inaction, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Witnesses say they called 911 immediately but were afraid to physically stop the man, as they did not know if he had a weapon on him. The father only stopped after police and a helicopter intervened, shooting him to death. According to experts, the witnesses lacked the experience to respond with force.

The violent nature of this tragedy sort of helps me differentiate it from the video of bystanders failing to help an elderly man who was hit by a car and left in the street. Maybe human instinct prevents us from acting how we wish we could in shocking circumstances.

Can you wish the witnesses did something to stop him, without judging them for their inability to do so? Can anyone know how one would act if confronted with this horrific situation?


Join The Conversation
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Wait, Liberty's post says that none of the witnesses tried to intervene and the article Hootie pasted in says several of them did. I'm inclined to believe that people at least tried.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
I haven't read all the comments, but who knows why the volunteer firefighter didn't intervene. Maybe he had his own kids with him...? What a sad story.
Meike Meike 9 years
Hmm, well, I've called 911 on a man beating his girlfriend without physically interfering or them noticing. I would do the same thing in this scenario. Sorry, but I'm no hero and I protect myself, my husband, and my family first and foremost. I am selfish that way.
hmcmcd hmcmcd 9 years
bellareesa I am right next to you at 100%, there is No way that I could just pass by someone beating a child.(and I am 5'2 102lbs) I don't think there is ever an excuse for this behavior. The more people excuse themselves BEFORE they are ever even faced with it the more people will be justified by not reacting when they are in a situation to react. I mean at least pretend you are the type of person who would help, then you can feel really ashamed after you don't, not justified, like...well I am normal, nobody else would help either. I hope that someone would help me if I was in a rough situation!
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
And totally, cine... I would've broken the man's fucking arm/leg/dick/face/neck... whatever it took. Pepper spray, knife in the eye... for me, I doubt there is a length I wouldn't have gone to to protect a 2 year old. :(
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
harmonyfrance, I think it has a lot to do with the attitude of people who would consider joining the military. You're naturally more aggressive and more protective of those who may be weaker than you. I can relate very much "to my own detriment". Running after the 'roided man who knocked my friend unconscious and chucking my shoe at his head while on the phone with the police... probably not the brightest thing I've done, but I can't imagine myself not helping someone who needed me.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
hypnotic - too bad you don't live in FL I happen to know a very reputable gun dealer...
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
I can't say for sure obviously...but I seriously think I would've intervened. Just because I'm fearless in situations like my own detriment. I forget about my own safety. I've intervened in a couple of situations like that (never with a baby), and looking back I'm really lucky that nothing really bad has happened to me. I freak out over the dumbest things you can imagine, but when I'm in an emergency I am oddly calm and able to act quickly. It could quite possibly be my Navy training.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Kimpossible your mention of gun has just reminded me of my desire for at least the past six months to purchase a hand gun. I've been going to archery ranges for years now and I can probably aim and fire a Bow just as good as the seasoned hunter. Now I'm ready for something with a little kick.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
and I so agree with you Cine on the car thing. I am not fond of guns for myself - don't mind others having them. I'm not comfortable with them, not good at using them etc... but I have absolutely no problem using my car to run someone over if my life or the life of someone else is being threatened.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
cine, it could be from living in cities. For me I know it could also have something to do with the fact that my Dad was a police officer and I was made aware of many "what if" scenarios and I saw my Dad (off duty) getting involved in many situations where people needed help. It's just who he is. I also believe that life experiences play a part, and being on the receiving end of beatings myself with nobody stepping in to help (both as a child and as an adult), puts me in more of the mindset of helping people rather than just standing around watching or walking away. But like the article asked, can you wish the people had done something with out judging them - absolutely. I can't (and won't) judge them for their inaction, I can only keep it in the back of my mind as a reminder to try to help whenever possible.
janneth janneth 9 years
another factor: if the victim is someone you love, or even if it is property belonging to you that is being damaged or stolen, all bets are off. you can turn away from your "personality" or training, and go after the perp.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Faery you would be surprised the kind of damage a woman can do.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Pop I agree it is hypotheses, but as I said before, I can go off of my reactions from previous experiences and from those, I can say I would have run the guy over, or used the knife I have, or the bear mace I carry, or the pepper spray I carry. Between Monday and I, I think we could have done some damage. :) I do feel bad for all involved, and as I said, I don't want to judge, but my first reaction is to ask why they didn't do anything. I am not saying I am right for this reaction, just being honest.
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 9 years
I would feel powerless of course, and I would call 911, but being a woman I don't think I could stop a grown man. My husband would probably have done something even if it got him hurt. Its just the kind of guy he is.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
cine I don't think it's incredibly out there, it just seems to me like the type of thing you'd consider afterwards, that's all. I just feel like us sitting here, using our rational minds to come up with what we would do, is very different than what they were doing at the time. And to say, "oh, I would have done this" is basically just hypothesis. I will say though, if you are military or former police or something you are probably much, much more likely to actually do something.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
Lol. As a former sailor, I can honestly say that no one likes it when JAG's around... but kudos to you for serving your country instead of springing right into a more lucrative position. :D
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
I think it's "fight," "flight" or "posture," which is a reaction like puffing yourself up to be more menacing than you are even if you do not intend to fight. That's actually probably what I would have done. Still, people have brains, at some point you start thinking. Monday-glad to know I wasn't the only one that had that reaction. It's obviously really embarrassing thinking back on it! Other people seemed to "get" it a lot more quickly than I did... And good for you for joining the Navy. I want to do JAG when I graduate from law school!
Hootie Hootie 9 years
Hootie Hootie 9 years
It's not my place to judge the people that tried to stop the attack. I feel terrible that the little boy suffered. This happened not even an hour from where I live. It breaks my heart, but I can't say I would have jumped on the guy at 10PM at night on a dark country road.
Hootie Hootie 9 years
Police fatally shoot man in Turlock after he kills baby By Associated Press June 15, 2008 5:33 PM TURLOCK -- Authorities say police fatally shot a Turlock man who kicked, punched and stomped a baby to death along a dark country road while fending off passers-by who tried to intervene. Police declined today to identify the 27-year-old suspect slain Saturday night and said they didn't know his relationship to the infant, who was between 12 and 24 months old. Stanislaus County sheriff's deputy Royjindar Singh said an elderly couple made the first 911 call to police around 10 p.m. after spotting the suspect brutally beating the boy behind his parked pickup truck. Singh said other witnesses stopped and tried to halt the attack, but the man pushed them away. Authorities said a sheriff's helicopter landed in a cow pasture at 10:19 p.m. carrying a Modesto police officer who shot the man to death after he refused an order to stop beating the child.
Berlin Berlin 9 years
Not's fight or flight! Our brains unconsciously choose one or the other depending on your abilities, experiences, and a multitude of other variables. It just depends...from a very young age I've been a "fight" person in stressful/shocking situations (no I don't actually fight but I react to the situation rather than sit in shock or don't take action). It just depends on the person, and a lot of people will end up not reacting. If we had more concealed weapon permits (as the one poster stated) then we would have more people taking the wrong kind of action into their own hands. We have cops that are trained to use fatal force, and usually are required to take a leave and psychological treatment after a gun is used because of the effects that they have on someone! In addition, more permits would put more people in fear of reacting because they wouldn't know if the man doing the attacking ALSO had a weapon on him. Which is why a lot of people don't act...they don't want to get hurt either!
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
snowbunny11, strangely, I had a simliar attitude (at first). I was living in Arizona at the time... and the tragedy seemed so disconnected from me. When I was listening to the radio on the way to school, I thought it was a prank. Then I got to my first class, and they had the news on the TVs. All I could think about was how the footage of the second plane hitting looked like a b-movie. It hit me later on... specifically when there was video footage of a reporter trying to run away from and being swallowed up by the dust cloud. The genuine fear in his voice brought tears to my eyes. The second I turned 18... I signed my life away to the Navy.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Monday- I agree. I think I have a confrontational nature now, and I don't think I'd even think about it. I'd at least be yelling and distracting and calling on the phone. The thing is, I don't think five years ago I would have done that, my personality has changed a lot. I'm much more assertive now. I would have been scared and angry, but I don't know that I could have jumped to action. We all like to think the best of ourselves, but in crazy situations...rationality can fly out the window. When my friend rushed in on 9/11 to tell me that planes were hitting the Twin Towers in NYC, my first reaction was, "oh, like in a video game? hahaha." The only time I'd ever thought about or witnessed a similar scenario had been in a video game at an arcade at the movie theater. It was definitely a strange reaction to a tragedy!
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
Me and my pepper spray, knife and shank tucked into my purse... that's what I'd be grabbing.
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