Sunday, February 22, 2009

Feeling the pain of my friend Kevin Koym's attack remotely through Twitter

My friend, Kevin Koym, was attacked by four street thugs near Austin's Sixth Street District.   And, while I spend most of my time in San Antonio, I am feeling Kevin's pain this morning, especially with police investigations.   By following Kevin's tweets, I know that the police released one of the thugs even after pictures documented his attack on my friend.

Kevin was smart enough to use his I-Phone to capture the picture of one of his assailants and he has offered them to the police.   Right now, he's also looking for video surveillance cameras located near the 5th and Brazos intersection.    He is also waiting for a detective to formally follow up with him.

With an Austin mayoral election coming up, one of the issues has to be on the quality of the city's police force and the expansion of video cameras in the Sixth Street District.   Having friends who serve in the local police, I know that the first responders to Kevin's case probably believed that there was a compelling case to arrest this guy.

However, Kevin's network of friends are now looking for the video surveillance resources to find the proof that he was attacked.   Without it, there is not much hope to arrest the four miscreants who attacked him.

What is really sad about this is that there were actual witnesses to this assault.   Over 12 years ago, I once bumped into a man's truck on an icy road in San Antonio.  He stomped out of his car, punched my rear bumper and me in the nose as four to five people drove around us.   None of the others who witnessed the event stepped forward to give me their name.   I am sure that there were others who saw this attack at the 5th and Brazos intersection.

Had there been a surveillance camera that could have documented my assault, I could have preferred charges against this thug in a civil court.  At best, the SA police detective said there wasn't any proof even though I offered them to take a DNA sample of his hand print on my car.

When you mention the use of a surveillance camera as a tool to provide security in open spaces, a lot of folks scream "Big Brother" at the thought of these devices.  However, both Kevin and my cases also show that when somebody wants to prove an open attack that surveillance cameras could prove a case against someone.

With a city election coming up in both San Antonio and Austin, voters should ask their candidates their thoughts about the expansion of security cameras especially among popular places like Austin's Sixth Street and the River Walk in San Antonio.    And, they should ask for their mayoral candidates to do everything possible to add to the rank and file of their police forces so that attacks like Kevin's don't go unpunished.

1 comment:

JF said...

I'm shocked but not surprised. Random violence is everywhere.

I thought that Austin Police Chief, Art Acevedeo, was gong to expand the use of video surveillance.

APD chief lobbies City Hall for surveillance cameras

Austin Police Chief Proposes Cameras in High-Crime Areas

Not surprisingly, the ACLU is against it. I'd be surprised if the citizens of Austin, a quite alot more "liberal" minded city than San Antonio, would vote for them.