A really bad choice

The other night while watching the evening news we saw a very bizarre crime captured live by a television station helicopter.

A 75-mile car chase in the Denver area Wednesday began when an SUV was stolen with a 4-year-old boy strapped inside. It ended after the suspect carjacked two more vehicles before finally causing a massive pileup. He was subdued by police as he tried to flee on foot from the multi-vehicle wreck.

The suspect in the case already had a warrant out for his arrest for failure to appear at a March 4 hearing in a drug case.

In addition to scaring the devil out of the 4-year-old, the suspect struck a state trooper with one of the stolen vehicles as he tried to put down “stop sticks.” On Thursday, the trooper was still in serious condition but expected to make a full recovery.

The suspect’s girlfriend had been arrested Tuesday night in yet another stolen car. She was charged with theft and possession of drug paraphernalia – syringes and glass pipes.

An Associated Press story on the incident said the 28-year-old man had been arrested in both January and February on drug-related charges. The story also said he has an extensive criminal history and is not allowed to be around drugs or alcohol.

So, the question becomes: Why was this fellow out on the streets? If a condition of parole is no alcohol or drugs, why, when he was arrested in January and February, was he turned loose so he could miss his March 4 hearing? And then wreak havoc on a child, a trooper and motorists in the Denver area?

Now, we’re certain his lawyer will tell a judge the young man made “some bad choices” but deserves a break. As far as we’re concerned, he has already received a God-given break – he easily could be facing murder charges in the deaths of a child, a policeman and hundreds of motorists.

At some point our courts have to realize that society needs a break. Criminals like this one need to be put away where they can’t injure others.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.