Damn. I do hate it when life imitates Phil Ochs. In the hyperbolic heat of writing my last post,
I suggested that “if people are really busy tweeting, or watching Dancing with the Stars … ” they might not be aware even when someone’s doing them grievous bodily injury. I thought that was just rhetoric, exaggeration for effect. But maybe not.
The RT site stated, “This page has been shared 52 times.” And of course it offers links for Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit and Tumblr.
Some of us may recall the line from an earlier era, “If you remember the Sixties, you weren’t really there”. Looks like it’s time for an update … Something like, “If you remember the Teens, you’ve just checked your Twitter timeline”. And who can tell me the legal definition of brain-dead?
RT.com – USA/News
Commuter disconnect: Passengers were too immersed in toys to spot murderer
Published time: October 09, 2013 08:25
Authorities have partially blamed gadget-absorbed commuters for failing to notice a gun-wielding assailant who calmly took his time before shooting a man point blank on a San Francisco train.
The man, 30-year-old Nikhom Thephakaysone, flashed his .45-caliber pistol several times in front of everyone, before proceeding to shoot San Francisco State University student Justin Valdez, 20, in the back of the head before leaving the train.
Police believe the attack to have been completely unprovoked.
The accused, Nikhom Thephakaysone. Screenshot from YouTube user sanfrancisoPD
The September 23 incident, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, involved security footage showing Thephakaysone pulling out the gun, raising and pointing it – even wiping his nose with the sleeve of that hand – before tucking the weapon away and drawing it again several more times with nobody any the wiser. He then simply shot Valdez and disembarked.
This incident highlights an increasing lack of attention from passers-by, authorities say, alluding to the spread of hi-tech toys. People are so engulfed by their hand-held entertainment devices that they pay almost zero attention to their surroundings.
District Attorney George Gascon believes technology has greatly hindered people’s ability to concentrate, leading to increased crime, as well as theft.
“These weren’t concealed movements — the gun is very clear,” he told the Chronicle. “They’re just so engrossed, texting and reading and whatnot. They’re completely oblivious of their surroundings.”
Following a speedy arrest, several charges were leveled at Thephakaysone, including murder and assault with a semi-automatic handgun. He pleaded not guilty.
Despite this lack of admission, the police discovered a small weapons arsenal after carrying out a search of his apartment. The weapons found included two assault rifles and multiple combat knives, adding illegal possession of assault weapons to the charges.
Subsequent investigation revealed that Valdez was almost the second victim that night, as Thephakaysone had stuck a gun in another man’s back just hours before as he looked for someone to shoot. He did not pull the trigger, choosing to go hunting for another hour. He then wound up in front of a Thai restaurant, where he again waved and played around with his gun, Assistant District Attorney Scot Clark said.
Thephakaysone was arrested with $20,000 cash on his person.
© Autonomous Nonprofit Organization “TV-Novosti”, 2005–2013. All rights reserved.