Kevin LongIt's a sad commentary on the state of our judicial system, but it's hardly surprising to hear that a just-released sex offender has already been locked up again, accused of attacking a teen girl on a bus in California. But perhaps even sadder is the surprise surrounding the girl's protectors. All five men who jumped in to do battle against Kevin Long happen to be homeless.
You know ... homeless ... like the guy you step over when you walk down the street. Be honest. We've all done it ... or something like it.
Try as we might to remember that the homeless are actually people just like us, it's almost instinctual to treat them as anything but. We cross the street to avoid them. We pull our kids close as if the man with the ragged pants and the paper bag is going to make a grab for them.
And as I look at this story of five Good Samaritans coming to the aid of a helpless child and literally pulling a disgusting pervert off of her, I can't help feeling ashamed of myself. Kevin Long allegedly started off with some lewd comments directed at this poor kid, and a homeless man named Curtis Mitchell told CBS that he immediately took notice.
See? He cared about this kid. He wasn't thinking about his next drink or how to steal someone's wallet or any of the stereotypical things people assume are on the minds of a homeless person.
Anyway, when Long allegedly jumped up and grabbed this poor girl's crotch, Mitchell and four of his friends swung into immediate action. One grabbed his neck, others got his body and legs, and these guys actually held Long down until the bus driver could get pulled over and allow police onto the bus.
Long -- who had just gotten out of prison on a sex conviction the day before the bus incident -- allegedly acted pretty much the way we'd expect a sex offender to act. But these homeless guys ... well, not so much.
Are there homeless people who have problems? Sure. There are many who are on the streets specifically because of their problems. Some are seriously bad people.
But some are druggies. Some are drinkers. Some are mentally ill. And while these issues are all problems for themselves, they don't necessarily present a hazard for the rest of us. In fact, as we were shown in Modesto, California this week, sometimes they're just down-on-their-luck guys who will step in when a young girl needs a hero.
Does this make you look at the homeless in a different way?
Image via Modesto Police