RICHARDSON: ‘Bad boys’

November 3, 2013 

I received an email from the Bibb Sheriffs Public Affairs office about a crime committed early Halloween morning. When I get these releases from the sheriff or the Macon Police Department, several thoughts come to mind. For instance, I received a notice from the MPD, also last week, about the arrest of four men for possession of drug paraphernalia, among other things and possesion of 64 rocks of crack cocaine. The men ranged in age from 28 to 49.

My eye shifted to the right where Jami Gaudet, the public information officer, states how many times the suspects have been arrested. Between the four, they had 80 arrests. The phrase, “there’s no fool like an old fool” popped into my head.

However, when I read the release from the sheriff’s office about two teenagers, 17-year-old Zashon Eugene Morant and his 15-year-old accomplice, whose name was not released because he’s a juvenile, “stupid is as stupid does,” came to mind, made popular by the 1994 movie, “Forrest Gump.”

Why that phrase? The two teens have been charged with stealing a light blue Ford Edge, but were discovered trying to steal items from another car in the Timber Ridge subdivision in south Bibb County. That’s when their well-developed and thought-out plan, ran off the road -- literally.

They woke up a neighbor as they broke into a car next door. He shouted at them while calling the sheriff. They ran to their hot car and took off, but the deputies arrived, probably more quickly than the two brainiacs figured, and a chase was on.

The older teen steered the vehicle, as he tried to make their escape, into the curve at Bonanza Drive. He was going too fast for his limited knowledge of the car’s handling capabilities and his own limited driving abilities. Chances are, the car could have taken the curve, but, the teen’s name is Morant, not Greg Biffle, and his Ford didn’t have the No. 16 painted on its side.

Off into a ditch they went, flipping the Ford Edge. But the streak of stupidity continued. Instead of feeling lucky to be alive and giving themselves up, they crawled out of the car and ran. They didn’t ask themselves the question, in their extensive planning session for the night’s heist, posed by the Reggae group Inner Circle: “Bad boys, bad boys whatcha’ gonna’ do? Whatcha’ gonna’ do when they come for you?

Their instinct to run got the best of them and all it got them was maybe five more minutes of freedom, if you can call hiding in the shadows from deputies with guns, freedom.

I have questions, because “stupid is as stupid does” applies to more folks than those out for a night of crime. The first question has to do with the human units responsible for the teen’s births. They were arrested shortly after 4 a.m., and it was a school night. Shouldn’t a parent know their 17 or 15-year-old son is out of the house in the early a.m.?

The owners of the car also get the SIASD label. According to the sheriff’s report, the owners didn’t know the car was stolen -- and they left it unlocked with the keys in the ignition. While it’s not their fault for the theft, they shouldn’t make it so easy.

So what do the bad boys charged with theft by receiving stolen auto, fleeing and eluding, obstruction, criminal trespass, entering auto have in common with the accused drug dealers mentioned above? The oldest dealer is 49-years-old and has been arrested 30 times. I would bet he started his criminal career at about the same age as this new crop of criminal. Stupidity is in the DNA of the criminal family.

While it’s probably too late for the older perpetrators, younger ones should listen to the lyrics of the “Bad Boys Theme” and see if they see themselves:

“When you were eight and you had bad traits

You go to school and learn the golden rule

So why are you acting like a bloody fool?”

Charles E. Richardson is The Telegraph’s editorial page editor. He can be reached at 478-744-4342 or via email at Tweet@crichard1020.

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