Normally, I don’t cover crime stories on this blog but I have no problem offering an opinion on how crime stories are covered in the press. Today is one of those days.
I’m fortunate to be on the Delaware County District Attorney’s list of outlets they send their press releases to, but because I don’t cover crime stories, I don’t always post their releases.
I take into consideration how Chester crime stories amplify the very thing we prefer Chester not to be primarily known for – bad news. However, from a DA perspective, these are good news stories because they got another bad guy off the street.
Last week they sent a release about a 66-year-old man from Chester who had been charged with Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse with a Child, Sexual Abuse of a Child, Corruption of Minors, Child Pornography, and related charges, all felonies, involving a 14 year-old male victim. Yuk!
If you need to know more about that situation, go buy the local paper who had no problem running that story the very next day.
Despite the yukiness of that story, the DA did include one important passage…
“As a result of the pandemic, and the absence of in-person classes and after-school activities, we have fewer trusted eyes on our children. It has never been more important for members of the community to serve as our eyes and ears. If you see something, say something.”
District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer
Yesterday, I received another release from the DA concerning two separate cocaine arrests in Chester. It’s another case of bad news for Chester’s reputation but good news for law enforcement lumped in with an improved quality of life outcome for the city.
In this case, the press release and the local newspaper account differed in a small, but significant way.
The press release says…
The target of the investigation was located in a vehicle parked outside the residence, and he directed officers to an abandoned vehicle parked next to the residence. The cocaine was concealed in different parts of the vehicle
The newspapers says…
He was detained while officers executed the warrant on the residence, then allegedly told them he had “some work” outside and agreed to escort the officers to the location. Martinez took the officers to an abandon vehicle parked next to the residence, which contained the cocaine broken down into various quantities for street sales and secreted in different areas of the car, according to the release.
On the surface, the story sounds consistent. Obviously, the newspaper folks are creating a story from the DA press release and the police report, which isn’t uncommon.
Here’s where I come in with my spin.
We, the readers, are suppose to believe that the bad guy had his house raided, was detained, then casually volunteered to direct the police to an abandoned car parked out front where they’d find a couple hundred grams of coke?
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t know too many bad guys who give themselves up like that.
Obviously, something’s missing from the press release and police report. Personally, I wish they had left out the whole part about the abandoned car unless they added what provoked the bad guy to snitch on the abandoned car (and himself). Crime reporting can be so sketchy. That’s why I avoid it.
It’s good we got some coke off the streets (which looks like crack from the photo), along with a gun, and a whole $325. This certainly isn’t 1985 Chester in the height of the drug wars but even small time dealers of today need to beware that law enforcement is still out to eliminate all illegal drug activity, which is a good thing.
I’d really like to know what made the bad guy tell on himself.