Thursday, April 29, 2010

Be honest about the "homeless hero"

He stopped to help and died because others did not do the same.

Belatedly, Hugo Tale-Yax was honored as a hero for his actions, as family and friends gathered Wednesday to pay their respects to a Good Samaritan whose death was captured on video but ignored by those who saw it happening [to] . . . the 31-year-old homeless construction worker and Guatemalan immigrant.

He died April 18, fatally stabbed as he tried to rescue a woman from an attacker. A video surveillance camera on a Queens street captured Tale-Yax's collapse facedown on the sidewalk after he appeared to intervene in an altercation between a man and a woman.

As his life slipped away on the pavement, the camera captured two dozen people passing him by without stopping to help — indifference the nation has been able to watch since the video was revealed Monday by the New YorkPost.

When firefighters arrived more than an hour after the attack, they lifted his body to reveal a pool of blood. Tale-Yax was pronounced dead at the scene.

. . . Tale-Yax came to the U.S. six years ago from a town in rural Guatemala, had been unemployed for a year and was living in a shelter, said his cousin Edwin Tacam, 24, who went from his home in Jersey City, to Queens to identify his cousin when police called.

"He had some problems. He was trying to help himself get away from the alcohol," Tacam said.

If you didn't see the attack, and you didn't see the blood, and all you saw was a young homeless alcoholic passed out on the street, would you stop and nudge him, to see if he was okay?

In fact, wouldn't you be afraid to stop and nudge him, to see if he was okay?

In fact, wouldn't it be unwise and rather risky to your own personal safety to stop and nudge him, to see if he was okay?

The outrage regarding this story is phony.

The real outrage should be directed to family members and public safety departments and local government officials, who tolerate homeless alcoholics sleeping on the streets of our major cities.

Homelessness is yet another issue which is only an issue when our president is someone the media does not support.

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