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 3Â½ 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.