I don’t usually cover crime stories.
But something happened yesterday that was so depraved as to nearly defy human comprehension:
A registered sex offender is being held on suspicion of rape after police said he sexually assaulted a 2-year-old girl in a Dollar Tree store on Decoto Road on Wednesday afternoon.
Eugene Ramos, 36, of Union City, was arrested and booked on suspicion of kidnapping, rape, sexual acts with a child and false imprisonment.
The incident began when a man grabbed the girl as she returned a ribbon to a Christmas aisle in the store, momentarily leaving the sight of her grandmother and aunt, who were with her, police said.
The man had the child pinned down in the aisle and was sexually assaulting her when he was spotted by the grandmother, police said. The child’s pants and diaper had been removed and she was being straddled by the man, who had pulled his pants and underwear down, according to police.
The man was pulling up his pants as he fled the store while being chased by the girl’s grandmother and aunt, according to police.
Eugene Ramos, scuzzball.
Several customers chased him through the shopping complex and a solicitor in front of the store eventually tackled the man.
A BART police officer nearby was flagged down as a small group of people held down the man.
More details here:
Ramos attacked a 7-year-old child in Hayward in 2003 and was convicted of assault with intent to commit rape, sodomy or oral copulation, authorities said. Jail records show he is unemployed.
Ramos ran, with the grandmother and aunt in pursuit, police said. Demario Hawkins, who was soliciting donations outside the store for a nonprofit that helps homeless people, and another man, Sammy Johnson, also gave chase, police said. The men tackled him.
“Had it not been for these two gentlemen, he could have gotten away with this,” Musgrove said.
On Thursday, police honored two men who prevented Ramos from fleeing the scene.
Sammy Johnson, 55, of Fremont, was in the store Wednesday afternoon when the crime occurred, and 24-year-old DeMario Hawkins was outside soliciting donations.
“They were absolutely instrumental in the capture of the suspect from yesterday,” police Capt. Brian Foley said. “Without their help, the suspect would not be in custody.”
The incident began about 1 p.m. when a man grabbed the girl as she returned a ribbon to a Christmas aisle in the store, momentarily leaving the sight of her grandmother and aunt, police said.
“This is not a case of inattentive parents or guardians. … This happened in the space of 20 to 30 seconds,” Foley said.
The man had the child pinned down in the aisle and was sexually assaulting her when he was spotted by the grandmother, police said. The child’s pants and diaper had been removed and she was being straddled by the man, who had pulled down his pants and underwear, police said.
The man was pulling up his pants as he fled the store while being chased by the girl’s grandmother and aunt, police said.
“She (the aunt) was just hysterical, holding this baby and screaming, ‘Please, please, help me,'” Johnson said.
Demario Hawkins, American hero.
He and Hawkins thought there had been a purse snatching, and intervened.
Hawkins tried to stop Ramos, who squared off and swung at him. Hawkins punched back and hit Ramos on the cheek.
“I reeled back, swung at him and kind of decked him,” Hawkins said.
Johnson then tackled Ramos and kept him pinned down.
“I couldn’t do nothing else,” he said. “I didn’t care — I was going to get him.”
BART police Officer Kory Frost was flagged down, and he took Ramos into custody.
“A lot of people are saying that I did a good job, and I appreciate that,” Frost, a 28-year veteran, said in a statement. “But the heroes are the citizens, not me.”
Both Johnson and Hawkins, though, said they don’t feel like heroes.
“I just felt like I was happy to help,” Hawkins said.
There are no words to describe the breathtaking evil of a human monster unafraid to rip the diaper off of a baby and rape her in the middle of a store just steps from the baby’s guardian and in front of several witnesses.
|Sammy Johnson, American hero.|
Nor can there be any praise high enough for the Good Samaritans who took this maniac down as he tried to flee. Demario Hawkins and Sammy Johnson (and the other unnamed shoppers who chased the rapist) will always have a place on my personal list of American heroes. You can watch an interview with them here.
Question 1: Why was a guy was was already convicted for raping a child in 2003 so quickly released from prison? He couldn’t have served more than six years, max. What in the hell is wrong with the sentencing laws in California?
To make matters worse, we just elected far-left progressive Kamala Harris as our new State Attorney General, who said after her victory that her top priorities as Attorney General would be to “assure implementation of California’s climate-change law” and to overturn the voter-approved Proposition 8, the state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Practically no mention was made of going after crooks, except to say that she would try to reduce the recidivism rate, which is Kamala-code for keeping as many criminals out of jail as possible and coddling those already incarcerated. To top it off, we also just re-re-re-elected Jerry Brown as governor; he’s the one who had (in previous terms) appointed most of California’s liberal judges, whose tendency to hand out ridiculously lenient sentences for violent crimes was the reason California later adopted a “three strikes” law, in order to take away bleeding-heart judges’ carte blanche. Brown has made no indication he’s changed his stripes in this regard, and we’re likely to get plenty more perpetrator-sympathizing judges throughout the state.
Question 2: Why aren’t people like Demario Hawkins and Sammy Johnson hailed nationwide as heroes? These are the kind of people that make America safe, not like our politically corrupt Justice Department, or our incompetent TSA. “I couldn’t do nothing else. I didn’t care — I was going to get him.” Brings tears to my eyes. If Eric Holder heard about this incident, he’d surely arrest Hawkins and Johnson for not reading Ramos his Miranda rights.
Question 3: Is the “insanity defense” a valid legal strategy? I mean, let’s face it: If you are so deranged that you’d rape a baby in public, you obviously must be completely psychotic. But by that same token, if you’d rape an adult in public, you also must be psychotic. If you cavalierly murder someone for wearing the wrong gang colors, then in a certain sense you’re just as crazy, in that you have absolutely no moral code, no sense of right or wrong. One could easily argue that most violent criminals could be characterized as “not sane” to some degree, and thus should not be held responsible for their crimes. I think the insanity defense should be disallowed in courtrooms, except in the most extreme cases in which someone is so severely mentally disabled that they literally did not know they had committed a violent act.
But if we allow the insanity defense to persist, then Ramos (if he has a halfway competent lawyer) could be found to have “diminished capacity” and be sentenced to nothing more than confinement in a mental institution for some comparatively brief period of time before he is declared “no longer a threat” and released back into society to continue his pedophiliac rampage.
Question 4: Is over-protective parenting justified? Plenty of social analysts have bemoaned the general paranoia in contemporary parenting, in which kids are monitored every waking second by hovering moms and dads fearful of boogeymen targeting their children. Kids are no longer free to play in the street, no longer free to walk over to friends’ houses or to stores alone — as most kids (including me) did in prior decades. But the awful, sickening truth is, there are Eugene Ramoses out there, waiting to pounce the moment your back is turned. Is childhood as we once knew it a thing of the past?
Final thoughts: The pursuers held down the rapist and responsibly summoned police to arrest him. Many commenters on the linked news articles were disappointed that the pursuers had not administered an immediate “parking lot execution.” But I’m no fan of vigilanteism. Even so, I think Ramos needed to be taught a lesson, to be traumatized so that he would never consider doing such a thing again, literally out of fear of his fellow citizens. Maybe beating the hell out of him would have been a good compromise?