Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Puyallup cyclist was a victim of sociopathic violence

Post by Brian O'Neill on July 21, 2011 at 11:09 pm with 8 Comments »
July 25, 2011 8:23 pm

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.

Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. Excellent insight! 100 percent agreement from this reader on this article. These people lack basic human compassion; and in fact take pleasure in others pain. This is a crime against this senior cyclist as well as against society as a whole. I hope these sociopaths are sent to prison for VERY long terms.

  2. in this case sir both kyle baker and corey romero are innocent so therefore you have no right to reserve judgement… if you want the true facts of this case email me… the charges against Mr. Romero and Mr. Baker will be dropped as they were merely named by Ms. williams to avoid trouble at her own expense….

  3. Brian O'Neill says:

    Thank you for your comments ottmike. The point of my column was to highlight the senseless violence in the Puyallup incident, not to condemn individuals before their trial. That is why I typically use words such as “alleged” and “arrested” rather than pronounce guilt. As in all such incidents, a proper police investigation, prosecutorial review, hearings and a trial–in other words, the criminal justice system–will decide the truth.

    I can only reply that if you have true facts, i.e. eyewitness testimony, alibi, etc., then I recommend you directly contact the detective assigned the case. After that I would welcome your point of view back on these pages.

  4. When I’m out bicycling I carry pepper spray for filthy dogs. It might not
    have worked in this case but it could in others.

  5. harleyrider1 says:

    Wow. You didn’t see much real violence in your short career.

    But then the majority of police officers never fire their weapons in the line of duty either. Sometimes people serve in law enforcement just long enough.

  6. Brian O'Neill says:


    I don’t appreciate being baited, but I will entertain your comment and provide a brief bona fide. I am currently in my fifteenth year in police work and I have seen a few things, including a lot of drive-bys and grisly crime scenes while working swing shift in the Hilltop during the 90’s.

    My point, which you so quickly skewed, is that most of the violence I observed–whether it were a homicide, rape or robbery–was impersonal. This particular incident in Puyallup was far more malicious, despite the lack of body count. If you choose not to see the subtle difference, that’s your choice.

  7. harleyrider1 says:

    You made my point. You continue to use the word “impersonal” for crimes like Ra and with rape and Murder. There is nothing more personal than those. Nothing.

    My hope would be that you do not take a report from a daughter, sister, or a mother that has been raped. I doubt they would view it as “impersonal”; nor would they view it on the same violence level as pushing someone off their bicycle to injure them.

    if the day comes you respond to a murdered child – remember in your opinion it was an impersonal crime.

    A police officer can be on 15-years and have one year’s experience 15-time; or they can have 15-years experience. This is not a personal attack on you; it is however an observance of either your indifference to rape and himicial victims that they are in the same catgory as an assault – or worse they are just “impersonal” crimes.

  8. Brian O'Neill says:

    HR1–last go around on this and then feel free to misquote me as much as you want. I have responded to and investigated rapes, homicides, drive-by shootings, etc. These are very personal crimes and perpetrators usually have a vested interest in the outcome. These incidents often involve passionate emotions which can overcome people’s normal inhibitions against violent acts. However, when you assault an elderly person whom you have never met, then you are just plain mean. That is a motivation we rarely see, and it is very disturbing.

    If you still don’t understand, I’ll assume you lack the experience.

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