A mom and dad are in police custody this week after allegedly killing the man pimping out their 17-year-old daughter after tracking him around Southern California. Want to hail Barry Gilton and Lupe Mercado as heroic parents? Not so fast.
Whether they actually rid the streets of a pimp or not is still up in the air. Gilton and Mercado's lawyer has indicated the parents will be pleading not guilty to all charges relating to the death of 22-year-old Calvin Sneed. And then there's this nagging truth: 17-year-old girls do not just run away from home and become prostitutes overnight.
The San Francisco area parents say that their daughter -- one of their three kids -- just disappeared on them awhile ago. After searching for her, they say they found her turning tricks, with Sneed, a gang member, as her pimp. They also say that they went to the authorities and got no help.
I feel for them. I really do.
But let's get real. There was something going on in that home well before their daughter ran away. Happy teenage girls do not just up and disappear. And they certainly do not turn to prostitution. There are risk factors for that kind of behavior: and 9 times out of 10, they lead right back to dear old Mom and Dad. I'm not saying they drove her to it per se, but they certainly raised this kid.
Even if Mercado and Gilton did not hunt down the man who they say was pimping out their daughter, then shoot at him twice, finally killing him on June 4, something stinks about this family and their story. Not convinced? How about this? Gilton has prior convictions for drug dealing and possession. Not exactly the upstanding citizen turned possible criminal just this once for the good of his child, huh?
If the couple did what they're accused of, they may have done it with the best of intentions. But they are far from innocent in all of this. Maybe if they'd parented a little better, they wouldn't be in this mess ... ?
What do you make of this whole situation? How could these parents have gotten around a possible murder of a pimp to prevent their teenager from being a prostitute?
Image via Foto_blog/Flickr