Monday, October 26, 2009

Stressed-out Robber Prays with His Victim

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Sometimes, life veers far away from our chosen course.  Stress that results when this happens causes some people to act out of character. However, temporary insanity defenses are seldom used because they seldom work. Consider the desperate gunman who prayed with the frightened clerk he robbed at a check-cashing business before finishing the robbery, then later surrendered. He was reportedly an unemployed veteran.

AP - 10/21/09 - INDIANAPOLIS - Police say an armed robber spent nearly 10 minutes on his knees praying with a clerk at an Indianapolis check-cashing business before fleeing with $20 from the register.

Security video from the Advance America branch clearly showed the man's face during the stickup Monday, and a 23-year-old surrendered Tuesday on a preliminary charge of robbery.

Police say the robbery took an unusual turn after the gunman came around the counter when the clerk starting crying and talking about God.

The man said he had a 2-year-old child to support and asked for prayers about overcoming his hardships.

Police say the man removed the bullet from his gun and gave it to the clerk before taking her cell phone and the money.

See the remainder of the article at this link.


Desperate people sometimes do desperate things in desperate times. We must always strive to keep our balance, even when suffering hardships. The young robber now faces the possibility of a lengthy prison term, which certainly did not help his family who he was so anxious about. When one finds oneself considering crimes or violence to self or others as an answer to problems, that when it is important to get professional help. Nothing positive comes from applying negative solutions to hardships.
The article above does not give full information on the robber, but it would not be surprising to learn that he had no previous criminal history. Hopefully, the court will consider that the man was suffering from an overload of stress and that he did not hurt anyone. Everyone connected to the case is traumatized, including the clerk who underwent the terrifying experience. I know what it is like to have my safety threatened. Please see the article at the link below about my worst stalking experience since trying to get justice for the secret arrest and wrongful death of my mentally and physically ill brother, Larry Neal. It includes the actual police report I filed, but no case number was assigned and no investigation ensured:

Mary Neal Finally Heard From Police Re 911 Emergency Call When Waylaid

Regardless of the negatives we encounter, it is usually within our power to FOCUS ON POSITIVES. Many philosophers, sociologists, psychologists and others have excellent advice to offer regarding keeping a positive outlook. A favorite quote about this is below:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8

The Jackson's recorded a video that reminds one to focus on the GOOD TIMES! If there is little happening at present to make us smile, let us reflect on happier times and recognize that life is full of hills and valleys. The next hilltop experience may be closer than we think. The vast majority of things people worry about never happen, and some of our most precious memories were surprises we did not engineer. As the character Forest Gump said, "Life is like a box of chocolates."

GOOD TIMES, by The Jackson Five

Balance is important. There is a time to grieve, and we should allow ourselves room to feel disappointment and seek help if grief or feelings of despair threaten to overtake us. But there is also a time to cast off our gloom and find something to rejoice about. When you fall, when you lose, when someone leaves your life through death or a failed relationship, allow yourself time to feel sad, but always pick yourself up again! Like Forest, grab another chocolate and see what is inside!

Helping others is a very good way to shift the focus from one's own problems. I write about injustices as a way to help people who need exposure to their victimization. See the list of articles on the left side of  But I also write about the positive things that are happening in the area of justice, and there are many! We must accept that there are positives and negatives in life, and some are out of our control. We change what we can, and learn to adjust to what we cannot change immediately. It is best never try to handle everything yourself, which can easily lead to feelings of being overwhelmed. One can shift a rock, but it takes more than one to push a boulder. With your help, we will continue to advocate for treatment to replace prisons for acute mental patients (as inpatients or outpatients, depending on their offenses and level of ability to cope in society) who need help pushing the boulders in their lives. No one should be punished for having a disability.

Today, there are approximately 1.25 million mentally ill people incarcerated in America.  Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill and I would welcome your support in the handy Donations Appreciated button on the upper left side of my the blog. Your assistance informing others about the critical need to deliver our most vulnerable citizens from prisons and into treatment facilities or community care programs can be accomplished easily by using the ADD THIS button. The good news is that advocacy helps. More mental health courts and drug courts are used now to divert people from incarceration into treatment programs that help break the cycle of recidivism and reduce cost to taxpayers. Jail diversion programs offer the hope of a return to wholesome living for program participants. The success rate for assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) programs is high. Kendra's Law (mandated treatment plus subsistence assistance) was responsible for around 90% reduction in homelessness, imprisonment, and hospitalization among New York participants compared to their experiences three years prior to joining the program. AOTs should be applied to save lives and reduce crime and the prison budget across the nation.

Success stories like the Kendra's Law program results help one's outlook considerably. Numerous injustices that prisoner activists, human rights advocates, and the general public write elected officials about and sign petitions to change are answered with a positive outcome, but that news gets less coverage than when a victim is subjected to police violence, discrimination is uncovered, etc. Positives deserve equal attention. For instance, you may wonder months from now what happened regarding the desperate young robber and his family and victim in this article.  With the increased use of jail diversion programs, there may be a slim possibility that the young robber could get the psychological and other help he needs instead of being imprisoned for years.  In fact, there are new provisions specifically made to assist veterans of recent conflicts who become entangled with the law. Please visit my HubPages reports on advancements in justice today by using the link below:

Steps Toward Justice:

The following link is to one of my favorite videos. People of different races, nationalities, and ages are dancing together, sharing music and fun - armed only with string instruments to make a joyful noise! Strife can upset one's balance as much as the financial trouble faced by the hapless robber in the account above. As people learn to respect each other despite differences in opinions, races, cultures, and across socio-economic lines, there is a corresponding lessening of tension. This can only happen throughout society when the human rights and civil rights of all people are equally protected. There was a time when the notion of African Americans and Caucasians sharing a seat on public transportation was considered absurd by many people. It took enforcement of anti-discrimination laws to make it a commonly accepted practice. Equal justice for disenfranchised people in the justice system regarding both criminal and civil law, mental patients, wrongly accused defendants, and others, is another radical change that can never happen unless and until members of society and governmental systems prioritize it. Enjoy the video below which shows how things could be in the proverbial "melting pot" called America once more lumps are melted in the custard.

This video is rightly called VICTORY!

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Mary Neal .

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