Once again, folks: yet another installment of “Things We Can’t Blame on Racism.” Sigh.
For this sickening story, we turn our attention to the Big Queasy Big Easy. I thought insanity with teenagers with children in New Orleans reached its peak early this year when a teenager put her 5-month old child in a dryer and turned it on so she could watch TV. Man, was I wrong.
Next up to bat, we have 17 year old Arnold Ross:
A 17-year-old man was booked by Jefferson Parish deputies in the murder and rape of an eight-month-old infant, JP Sheriff’s spokesman Col. John Fortunato said in a statement.
Officers were called to an apartment on Gary Court where an infant, Da-Von Lonzo, was unresponsive, Fortunato said. The baby was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
After an autopsy on the child, the Coroner’s Office classified the infant’s death as a homicide, following evidence that the child had fractures consistent from a beating, Fortunato said.
A 17-year-old man, Arnold Ross, Terrytown, who claimed to be the boyfriend of Lonzo’s 34-year-old mother, told detectives that the infant fell down the stairs, Fortunato said.
After questioning by detectives, Ross admitted to beating the child. The child began “defecating on himself,” at which point Ross stuck his finger in the child’s rectum to try and clean him, deputies said.
“He later admitted that the child began crying when he was babysitting him, and because of the crying he repeatedly beat the child,” said Sgt. Larry Dyess, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office. “As he was beating the child, the child defecated on himself and he stated that he stuck his finger in the child’s rectum in an attempt to clean the child.”
The child also had tears in the anus, Fortunato said.
Ross was booked with one count of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated rape, Fortunato said.
As it turns out, Ross wasn’t exactly a boy scout before this incident either:
Ross has a lengthy criminal history with arrests for possession of crack cocaine, possession of marijuana, obscenity, battery on a correctional officer, three counts of battery on a school teacher, three counts of theft, illegal carrying of a weapon and assault.
Stories like this almost make me want to abandon my progressive positions on vigilante justice and the death penalty. After reading this story, my initial thoughts were about how folks in the neighborhood should round up, beat him down, and then strap him to the electric chair. The thought of this monster beating an infant was unnerving. But perhaps what bothers me even more is the idea that once again, the system has failed. This kid needed to be in some sort of correctional facility, NOT chillin’ at somebody’s house, babysitting their infant.
Speaking of babysitting, why in God’s name would the baby’s mother (allegedly Ross’ girlfriend) trust this dude enough to leave him with her child? Child care costs are outrageous, I get that. But what could drive a person to leave their child in the care of a knucklehead with a rap sheet longer than his resume? Was one of the qualifications for this particular babysitting gig a four crime minimum? What’s worse is that this woman is not even a teenager herself. She’s 34 years old! Had she been a teenage knucklehead, that would have been different (though I still would have had some major issues to address). But being in her mid-30’s, the expectations of mature and responsible parenthood are raised. Leaving her child with this dude is negligence, plain and simple. The cost of said negligence? A front row seat at her baby’s funeral.
But, back to the major bonehead. You can bring up questions about his environment, about the systemic problems plaguing the black community, racism, mental disorders, and every other social and psychological issue on the board. I’ve done it myself in defense of certain destructive behaviors. But this is NOT one of those times. He knew exactly what he was doing, evidenced by the fact that he attempted to cover it up. As such, leniency should NOT be an option here. Throw the book at him? Naw. I saw, through the whole damn bookshelf at him.