Thumbs-up: To police officer Chris Sanders, Crystal Lake Central High School’s school resource officer, who stepped in to help a 17-year-old boy who police said was beaten after a road rage situation Tuesday. Sanders was outside the school when he witnessed the fight and made an arrest. As Principal Eric Ernd said, Sanders’ quick actions prevented the situation from escalating further. In Lakewood, officers Jeff Winters and Ed Cole were recently credited with saving the lives of an owl and a hawk that were struck by vehicles. Kudos to all of these officers for making our community a safer and better place to live.
Thumbs-down: To snap judgments. You might not know the name Anthony Torres, but if you spend much time on the internet there’s a good chance you’ve seen him recently. Torres had the first half of his 15 minutes of fame as the unwitting subject of a viral video capturing him lathered up and shaving on a New Jersey train. The post made the rounds as social commentary on the type of conduct that might be experienced on mass transit in the New York metropolitan area. But it turns out – as it almost always does – there was more to the story. Torres wasn’t, as presumed, an everyday commuter. Rather he was in and out of homeless shelters, and having been a mugging victim, sought help from his family. One brother sent him the money for a train ticket to visit another, and Torres was shaving so he would feel more presentable when seeing his relatives. The good news is the online community rebounded from the jokes to raise money for Torres, but his tale is a good reminder that we ought to always consider what someone else might be experiencing before passing judgment based on a superficial observation.
Thumbs up: To Prairie Ridge graduate Nick Martini, who is excelling with the playoff-bound Oakland Athletics after getting promoted to the majors this summer. It’s an incredibly rare accomplishment just to reach the majors, and not only has Martini managed to stick around, he’s been a major factor in the Athletics’ bid to make the playoffs. Martini was batting .306 headed into Friday, and we’re hoping to see him in the lineup when the Athletics open the postseason next week.
Thumbs-down: To the allegations and failures detailed in documents concerning the hostage-taking at Delnor Hospital in 2017, which led to the sexual assault of a nurse there by a Kane County jail inmate who was later shot and killed. An email obtained by the Kane County Chronicle show that Kane County corrections officers had been warned that Tywon Salters, 21, who was at the hospital for surgery after eating parts of his shoe, was an extreme risk who was desperate not to be in custody. An email from a sheriff’s sergeant warned that Salters should be restrained at all times, yet corrections officers said he was not, and was able to disarm the one person assigned to guard him. Authorities have withheld details on how the guard was disarmed. But the end result was a police standoff, two women taken hostage and one of them assaulted, before a Kane County SWAT officer shot Salters to death. A grievance has been filed against Kane County Sheriff Donald Kramer, who declined to comment this week. A lawsuit has also been filed by four nurses in connection with the incident. We regret what the victims had to endure and hope that this episode, at a minimum, will prevent a recurrence of any similar incidents in Kane County and at other area hospitals in the future. Inmates must not be denied medical care, but dangerous ones must be closely guarded for the safety of their caregivers.