Carrying On

A Ramco juidge sentenced CIndarion Butler to 16 years yesterday for the joy-pummeling of Ray Widstrand.   

The mob beating – carried out by self-styled gang members in what happens to be my old neighborhood, out on the lower East Side of Saint Paul near Payne and Minnehaha, which was a “neighborhood with challenges” 25 years ago and not much better now – got national attention last summer for its callous brutality; while five punks were charged with the beating, witnesses say more than a dozen attacked Widstrand, who lived in the neighborhood, beating him nearly to death just, apparently, for kicks. 

Anyway – Butler is going away until he’s in thirties.  The only thing more depressing than  seeing a life gone so badly and stupidly astray this early is taking a drive down Payne Avenue and seeing how many are on the same path.

But to me, the real story is Widstrand.  It’s not a Hollywood ending – but he’s alive, and plugging away…:

Although he has recovered beyond initial expectations, Widstrand told Smith he’ll likely require medical care for the rest of his life. It’s unclear if he’ll ever recover enough to drive regularly, work full time or live on his own.

Widstrand lives with his parents, and continues to receive outpatient care at the Courage Center. He’s scheduled to have a plastic plate screwed, sewn and stapled into his skull on April 3, his fifth brain surgery.

Doctors had removed part of his skull to alleviate pressure and later replaced it. But it was removed due to infection, necessitating the plastic plate, which will be permanent, barring unforeseen problems.

“There is no end in sight,” Widstrand told Smith.

…but he’s alive, and moving under his own power after some of the most gruesome injuries a person can sustain, which defies most expectations.  And in among all that is depressing about this story, that’s something to celebrate. 


10 thoughts on “Carrying On

  1. Yikes!
    I was lucky. My skull fracture was about as straight-forward and benign as it could possibly be. No infection, no breech of the blood-brain barrier. If either of those things occur, irreversible brain damage is almost certain.
    Popular media is partly to blame for this kind of violence. Television and movies routinely show vicious beat-downs with no serious or even long-term health issues for the victim. In the real world, one bare-knuckled punch to the head can result in months of rehab, or worse.

  2. I know people on the east side and they say the area is getting worse.

    We talk about how NYC needs a David Dinkins or Bill de Blasio to trash the city, then get a Koch or Guliani to clean it up. Perhaps St Paul needs a Coleman in charge for a while so a Norm Coleman can come in and clean up the city.

    For those of you not famliar, St Paul, especially the frogtown-Selby Dale was a hell hole until Norm came in. Now things are reverting back.

  3. Perp needs to be compelled to pay every penny he can earn to pay for his victim’s care. This is one place where debtor’s prison seems to be the right penalty.

  4. While I am certainly glad he is recovering and doing better…he has had his livelyhood stolen from him and certainly a mountain of medical expnses.

    So one who has been a contributing member of society has, essentially, had that and some of his abilities taken away from him through the severe injuries suffered through a savage beating at the hands of those that have likely been leaches on society for nothing more that kicks…and only 16 years??!! That’s almost as sickening as the beating.

  5. And this, DG, if you decide to stick your naive head in here, is why while “packing heat” needs to become an obsolete phrase, it will NEVER become an obsolete practice.

    Why can’t liberals accept that criminals are criminals, and often, the only thing that will stop a criminal is if they get a gun stuck in their face?

  6. Bill C, you know that you’re wasting your time, don’t you? Even though liberats are largely responsible for this type of behavior from young people, they will never acknowledge the problem nor will they shoulder any blame.

  7. You are correct, BH429. I need to just let it go. Call it a personal weakness of mine, trying to convince the unconvinceable.

    Definition of insanity and all that.

  8. “…largely responsible for this type of behavior from young people, they will never acknowledge the problem nor will they shoulder any blame.”

    Nor even attempt to solve to the problem as their “solution” will ultimately and invariably create more crminals and victims.

  9. We are under a mis perception of liberal thought here. Liberals are not against the use of force. They are against you responding to their use of force.

  10. JPMN is correct, liberals are against nothing that restricts their exercise of power. They are not against classifying people by ethnicity and sex, they are against you classifying people by ethnicity and sex.

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