I guess that he showed him!

Let’s say that you get into an argument with someone, at five o’clock in the morning. After going your separate ways, you continue to think about this argument, for about 3½ hours. Now, what do you do?

Well, Arnaldo Torres-Santiago, 20, apparently got into such an argument with a neighbor, Omar Rodriquez, 15. Can you guess what this rocket scientist did?

Well, of course you could. Mr. Torres-Santiago went into the house where Mr. Rodriguez was asleep on the couch, and put two bullets in the back of his head.

    Neighbor arrested in Kensington killing
    Police say he told them the boy disrespected him.
    By Natalie Pompilio and Barbara Boyer, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writers

    He killed the teenager because he felt the boy had disrespected him.

    That’s what Arnaldo Torres-Santiago, 20, allegedly told police after his arrest in the slaying of Omar Rodriquez, 15. The teen was shot twice in the back of the head early Sunday as he lay covered in a blanket on his living-room couch.

    Police, who did not elaborate on exactly how Torres-Santiago had been slighted, say they believe Rodriquez was sleeping when he was shot.

What on God’s earth makes a man think that blowing out someone’s brains over a perceived insult is a good idea? Oh, wait, the article gives us an answer:

    The alleged killer and his victim lived within yards of each other in the 2900 block of Ella Street in Kensington. Torres-Santiago sometimes visited the house Omar Rodriquez shared with another sister and her family. He told police he was there Saturday night going into Sunday morning, drinking and doing drugs with a friend.

I waffle back and forth on whether or not recreational drugs ought to be legalized. The libertarian in me says, sure, people ought to be able to take any fool thing they want — as long as they bear the full consequences of taking drugs. But, as I noted in the linked article, private actions often have public consequences, consequences not limited to the idiot person who uses illegal drugs. And it seems that Mr. Torres-Santiago’s private drug use has had consequences beyond himself: a teenaged boy is dead, and Mr. Torres-Santiago, just 20 years old, will spend the rest of his miserable life in jail.

But, while I am fairly certain that the fact he was “drinking and doing drugs” that night had a lot to do with his decision to kill (and it was a decision: he thought about it for hours, if “thought” is the proper word to use), it didn’t have everything to do with it. Mr. Torres-Santiago, just eight months in this country (from Puerto Rico), had managed to pick up enough of the Philadelphia ghetto subculture that he thought that being “disrespected” (and, unlike the lame editors of The Philadelphia Inquirer, I know that “disrespect” is not a verb or a gerund, so it goes in quotation marks) was grounds for killing the person who insulted him.

In the movie Escape from New York, in the future Manhattan will be converted into one gigantic prison. I’m beginning to wonder if foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy Philadelphia ought to be the city they use instead.


  1. Change the names but not ethnicity and this story is prevalent in the Baltimore Sun, The York Dispatch, The Washington Post. Murder in York has picked up in the last two years. Sorry to say, but a lot is in the Hispanish (a Kathleen KENNEDY Townsendism) part of town. It’s not racial, it’s just fact.

  2. “Can I guess what this rocket scientist did?”

    Shoved a rocket up his neighbor’s dog’s ass and launched him into orbit?

    (Sorry, it’s only 6:30 AM here in America’s Arctic, and with 3 1/2 cups of caffeine in me already, my “sick” sense of humor is peaking right now …)

    PPS Speaking of “sick”, I just checked out Brabra Streeisand’s Web Site. Talk about a Mt Everest sized ego!

  3. “Dissin” is a capital offense in some quarters. Perhaps an environment where ‘self esteem’ is doled out as a sort of ‘entitlement’ (rather than being earned) has made some folks with high opinions of themselves hypersensitive to any words that threated their emotional house of cards.

  4. Trouble is that this is pure stupidity. I have to wonder if Mr Torres-Santiago is going to get much satisfaction, sitting in his jail cell for the next fifty years, in knowing that he took care of the boy who failed to show him sufficient respect.

    Oh, well, assuming that Governor Rendell isn’t liberal stupid enough to allow prison furloughs or conjugal visits, Mr Torres-Santiago has been effectively removed from further reproduction, and ought to be eligible for at least an honorable mention in the Darwin Awards.

  5. I’m Omar’s little brother John. I’m glad that the killer of my brother is having the rest of his stupid-ass life in jail. I just wish he can die the way that my big brother died!!

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