This past weekend a mother of two decided she had enough when she encountered a disrespectful tagger in front of her Fullerton home. After blatantly ignoring her warning, the tagger defaced the sidewalk in front of her home, knowing she was watching.
This might have caused anybody to blow a fuse. “All of us have had enough,” she said in an interview.
Most people would have called 911, but how many would have run outside and confronted the thug as he fled on a skateboard?
As he skated away, the tagger screamed a few choice words.
The Mad-As-Heck-And-I’m-Not-Going-To-Take-It-Anymore Mom decided to grab her car keys and chase the disrespectful vandal down the street to a local school.
There, she solicited the help of a bystander and then tackled the suspect, holding him until police arrived.
Is this the smart thing to do?
Many years ago, as a public-information officer I was told the standard response to citizen intervention was: “Generally speaking, we do not encourage members of the public to take such actions. You should be good witnesses and call the police.”
I even used the statement a few times myself – but usually with fingers crossed.
Yes, it is the safe thing to say.
It is the wise thing to do.
Fed-up Mom had no martial arts training and no weapons that I’m aware of. She did, however, have a couple of traits that made all the difference: courage and a strong sense of right and wrong.
That’s what differentiates heroes from mere mortals.
It was Sir Robert Peel, founder of modern-day law enforcement, who famously said, “The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time and attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”
Maybe what we need today are a lot more Fed-up Moms and the streets would be a lot safer.
Fed-up Mom, you are a hero in this retired cops’ book and deserving of recognition.
I salute you.