One pictures the kidnapping of young Jaycee Lee Dugard, pictures the little girl snatched from her family, and the mind simply goes blank with horror. Worse–unimaginable even–is the 18 years of slavery and sexual torture she must have endured in that suburban backyard compound.
“On November 30 2006 we missed an opportunity to bring earlier closure to this situation. A caller to our 911 dispatch offered that there were tents in the neighbors back yard, that people were living in them, and there were young children.
“The caller also said that Mr Garrido was psychotic and had a sexual addiction.
“We made contact with Mr Garrido in the front yard of his home.
“The responding deputy determined there was no misbehavior, and warned him there were restrictions to living outside in a residential neighborhood.
“He did not enter or request to enter the backyard.”
Let’s leave aside the failings of the police. I’d like to congratulate this unknown neighbor for calling 911, and also pose a question: Why don’t more of us stick our noses in?
As I think I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, I’m one of those who are reluctant to step over unwritten privacy boundaries. Yet as this case shows, there are times when civic duty requires that we overcome our discomfort with confrontation. Had more people questioned what that whackjob Garrido was doing in his backyard compound; had more people kicked up a fuss…