Not all crime is created equal.
Property crimes, such as car thefts, burglaries and graffiti, can be an expensive, infuriating and invasive experience. Crimes against persons, as they are known in police agencies, usually include some form of assault, most typically stemming from a domestic relationship.
Less typical are the crimes committed by an individual against a complete stranger. Such an offense was described in the Trib, with the latest follow-up article appearing online today.
The linked story relates that the final of three arrests were made in the unprovoked assault on a 71-year-old man who was riding his bicycle along a Puyallup street. As pleased as I was to hear that the last wanted subject, Cory Shawn Romero, was arrested, I still confess some shock at the senseless and malicious nature of the original crime.
This incident displayed a level of evil intent on par with the worst of the crimes I have had the misfortune to witness, and that is saying a great deal. The three arrested are alleged to have veered their car towards a random cyclist, grabbed onto him and then shoved him towards the ground. Though his injuries were serious enough to make for a lengthy and painful recovery, the crash could have killed the man.
Many might wonder how a person can harbor the huge amount of hate and rage necessary to commit such a cruel act. as to carry out such a cruel act. The only explanation I can provide is that one or all of those arrested may have some sociopathic tendences.
I have had the misfortune to meet two men I would classify as sociopaths, and on both occasions I was conducting post-arrest interviews involving violent crimes against children. I found the experience of dipping into their distorted psyches to be the rough equivalent of bathing in human waste. In the time I spent interviewing these two sociopathic individuals neither displayed any emotion as we discussed the horrific damage to their victims. Likewise, both came close to tears when the discussion concerned the consequences each would face. Such a response appears to be the defining attribute of the sociopath.
These cold and unfeeling individuals, and I include those responsible for the assault on the Puyallup cyclist in their ranks, are cut off from the human condition because they fail to feel and experience the world through others as well as themselves. By their separation from us, sociopaths often leave a trail of destruction in their wake. I have found the most common question following a sociopathic assault to be “Why would they do this?”
Perhaps the only answer is that it is simply in the nature of some people to take pleasure in another’s pain. If so, then I am all the more grateful that a few more are locked up.