Saturday, July 14, 2012

Eldersburg Murder - The Aftermath

In my last post I incorrectly stated that the name of the restaurant was the Harvest Farm Inn.  It's just the Harvest Inn.  I must have been thinking of the Harvest Farm neighborhood when I wrote that.

As we all know by now, a Sykesville man was murdered on Friday, a little after midnight.  The victim who expired was shot multiple times and another suspect is in the hospital with seemingly non-life threatening injuries.  According to my liberal friends, the victim was murdered by the NRA, as they are guilty for all gun murders in this country.  The motive at this point is still unclear.  There does not seem to be a connection between the shooting victims and the shooter.  But there's always more to the story.

In reality, the perpetrator was at the bar and had paid for his bar tab with a credit card, so he wasn't too difficult to find.  After the NRA shot the victim, he went to his girlfriend's house over on Gemini Road, dropped off his car and gun, which was legally registered to him.  Police contacted him by phone and he eventually surrendered to police at the Church of the Open Door on Route 140, which is next to Heritage Honda in Westminster, though if you're from Baltimore the car dealer is in Westminister.

The newsfeeds on Facebook were streaming with comments about the murder.  "We saw this coming."  "We never expected this kind of thing in Eldersburg."  "That's the second murder this year in Eldersburg."  Some of the strings were passionate and angry.  Others condescending, while others fearful.

I mostly agree with all of the comments.  We chose to move to Eldersburg in 1998 because it was nice, the commute to work was reasonable, the schools were good, and the crime was low.  Those things mostly still hold true today.  The commute is a little longer due to increased volume of cars and extra traffic lights.  The schools are still great.  However, the crime is not as low as it was.  Is that unexpected?  I don't think so.  As communities grow larger, there is more opportunity for crime.  Like it or not, as you add diversity (many varying forms of it - racial, religious, socioeconomic, sexual-orientation, political) you will get friction.  People of lower socioeconomic status tend to commit more serious crimes (regardless of the race).  The children of higher socioeconomic areas tend to commit nuisance and quality of life crimes (but there are always exceptions, e.g. Columbine).  You don't need a $50 million study by the Department of Sociology at Johns Hopkins to figure this out.  Common sense betrays these ideas.  Or as Matt Damon said in Good Will Hunting, "you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a **** education you coulda got for a dollah fifty in late chahges at the public library."

I think over time, as Eldersburg gets larger, there will be more crime.  The population trend in the United States over the past 30 years seems to indicate that crime moves outward from the city-center.  As it is now, the once blue collar low-crime suburbs of Rosedale, Parkville, Overlea, Woodlawn, Randallstown, and Brooklyn Park are now ares of lower income families saturated with higher crime.  As Eldersburg is right across the bridge from Randallstown, I predict that in 15-20 years, we will see more of the types of crime that plague the Liberty Road areas that we hear about on the news.  I think this is inevitable.  If you don't like it, then move to Winfield.  It'll take longer to get there, but it will eventually.  It may be in 100 years, but it'll get there.  Just ask the people that built those nice stone houses on Liberty Road in the 1920's.

Don't get me wrong, Eldersburg of 2012 is still a great place to live.  But let's not live with our heads in the sand.  Eldersburg of 2012 is not the same safe haven of 1998.

So do we do next?  Is there a violent wave of crime coming?  I don't think so.  Someone doesn't show up at a bar with a gun unless there's a score to settle.  It's certainly disturbing that this happened, but I think for the rest of us who are slumbering at midnight and not out drinking at the bar at midnight on a Thursday night, we should be okay.  Use common sense.  Avoid places that seem like they'd be seedy.  Don't hang out with drunk strangers.  Don't buy drugs.  Lock your doors. You should be okay for now.


Kent Allard said...

I did some digging on those involved. They gave names, ages, street names in some reports. The shooter had no criminal record before this. At least nothing that was listed on the Maryland judiciary records. Of course now he's got murder and attempted murder. Making up for lost crime huh? The victim who died it appears had quite an extensive history though including assault and robbery. About 6 or 7 criminal charges in Maryland over about a 10 year period. There's more to this story than it just being some random act. Just like the stabbing a few weeks ago. Something was brewing. Like you said, someone doesn't just show up with a gun unless they've got a score to settle.

There's a lot of crime around here though that goes unnoticed and under reported. Watch the Eldersburg/Westminster Patch and Carroll County Times crime reports. A lot of it is is petty, but there's a lot of theft and attempted burglaries. Most of it can't be blamed on "lower socioeconomics" either. A lot of it is being committed by 20-somethings with drug habits who live right around here in their parents' nice homes. Seen it more than once up at the courthouse too.

Kent Allard said...

PS...moved here almost 10 years ago. Never thought I'd need a security system on my house. That changed over the past few years after 3 different incidents that escalated in the severity. In each of those cases the perps were in their early to mid 20's, clean cut, and from right around here. In one case from my own neighborhood. Spoiled kids with drug habits.

Brad Cole said...

Hey Kent, You ain't Sherlock Holmes, so let Homicide investigate. The victim was a close friend of mine who had been in trouble in the past but was not a career criminal or violent. We all got our crosses to bear. So shut your German Shepherd mouth asshole.

Eludius said...

Brad, I can understand your emotion, but we have the right to look at the information that is available and form our own opinions. The comments section is reserved for discussions, not profanity and hate. Unless of course, you hate Martin O'Malley, then no holds barred.

Kent Allard said...

To Brad Cole, first off I extend my sincere condolences. I'm sorry this happened to your friend. I'm in no way condoning what happened to him. I was simply stating the facts and making an observation. The violent criminal here is obviously the shooter. I can understand your emotion and again, my condolences. Bark Bark....

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