Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A Story that Needs to be Told

Sometimes I hear a story that I feel must be told and I wish someone would tell it. Not long ago I heard such a story. It will never make the headlines and many people who hear it would shrug their shoulders and murmur, “Who cares?” And I suppose that’s why I feel the story needs to be told: because someone, somewhere needs to care.

The scene is the Pocono Mountains around Interstate 80: resorts, summer getaways, mansions belonging to the rich. The characters are local residents, kids of wealthy parents, and innocent by-standers. The plot involves parties, gangs, and violence.

As I heard the story, there are more than a few teenagers and young adults living alone in those Pocono mansions while their parents live and work elsewhere. Unsupervised rich kids can easily get bored with their rich kid toys and start looking for “action.” Some of them get together and forms gangs—junior thugs trying to emulate Tony Soprano.

They party, deal drugs, beat up “locals,” and rape unsuspecting girls. And no one confronts them or their actions. The areas they live in are patrolled by “private security” agencies, which usually look the other way because the kids' parents pay their salaries. And the kids do whatever they want.

This story takes place in a mansion in which “Johnny D.” and his brother Mel live alone. The former is about twenty years old and I have no idea of the age of the latter. From the little I heard of them, their father is an oil trader and their mother “works in the city.” Neither parent sees the kids for months on end. And so the kids have their nightly parties with other rich kids and selected “locals.”

Enter a local named Shane, who is on probation for dealing drugs. He introduces the rich kids to some beautiful local girls, who attend a party or two. Johnny D. develops a lust for one of these young women, but she has no interest in him. So a plan is made. They have Shane invite the girl to a party at the mansion—or what seems like a mansion to the locals. But Shane conveniently doesn’t show up.

The girl obtains a ride with another local, who enters the mansion with her. He's the "innocent by-stander." She begins to wonder about the party, because she’s the only female there, and Shane, the guy who invited her, is nowhere in sight.

Johnny D. asks to talk to her while the other guys tell her escort to leave. The local guy smells something rotten is going down and refuses to go without her. He calls out to her that she needs to leave about the same time she realizes that raping her is on the mind of Johnny D. She heads for the door just as the four guys start beating the boy who brought her. They hit him, kick him, and knock him down a flight of stairs. They continue hitting and kicking him as she attempts to intervene. They hit her.

Somehow tyoung man and woman get out of the house, into the guy’s car, and drive away. The young woman wants her friend to obtain medical treatment and contact the police. He refuses, saying nothing can be done because the punks who beat him and were going to rape her are so affluent that they can get away with anything.

That’s the story, or at least the part of it that I have heard. To the best of my knowledge, it is true. It hasn’t yet ended. The young woman has left the state because she is afraid of these punks; the young man continues to receive threats from them. The rich kids remain unsupervised and feel they are above all societal restraints. The locals feel helpless against the tyranny of the affluent. There has been, and probably will be, no justice. And that’s why I believe this story had to be told and why I pass it on.

We hear a lot about gangs and violence in our cities, especially in the poorer sections. We hear little about the violence in our affluent areas. That, I believe, is a terrible commentary on our nation and our age.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, that is a story that needed to be told. Now someone needs to tell it to the police in that town.