Monday, 21 November 2011

Stabbed for signing

I know! The title of this post is extremely unnerving; having heard about an unfortunate deaf man in the US who was shot at the back of his head while withdrawing money at an ATM. A couple of armed robbers put their gun at the back of his head and warned him not to turn his head. Or he must have felt the nuzzle of the gun at the back of his head and turned around. Whichever way, he died. His life wasted through no fault of his.

Now in this scenario which happened sometime this year in Florida. The story was reported in the NYDaily News website:

Group of deaf, mute friends stabbed at bar after thug mistakes sign language for gang signs
Sunday, May 01, 2011
A group of deaf friends were stabbed at a bar in Florida after a woman mistook their sign language for gang signs.

Alfred Stewart, 31, was partying at the Ocean's Eleven Lounge in Hallendale Beach, Fla., with some friends who were also deaf on Saturday night when the group's signing caught the eye of gang-banger Barbara Lee.

The 45-year-old Lee though the group was throwing gang signs at her and responded by flashing gang signs back at them, cops said.
The group motioned for her to leave them alone.

Eventually, Lee left the bar but returned with two members of her crew, 19-year-old Marco Ibanez and a 17-year-old who was not identified, cops said.

Ibanez allegedly pulled a knife and began stabbing Stewart and his friends.

Stewart and three of his friends were taken to a hospital and treated for stab wounds.

A bouncer at the bar who had a bottle smashed over his head in the melee was also taken to the hospital. None of the injuries were life-threatening, officials said.

Lee, Ibanez and the 17-year-old were arrested and charged with aggravated battery.

Stewart's mother, Brenda, said there was no way her son was making gang signs.

"Only sign language," she told WSVN television. "That's the only way all of them, they do sign language."

THE GOOD NEWS in this story was that:Barbara Lee, 45 and Marco Ibanez, 19, were arrested after the stabbing.
ASL is actually the third widely used language in the US so it does make sense for people to learn it. Just like Spanish and English is taught.

My inquiring mind would like to know what would have happened if this happened in NGR? **sigh** Nobody is going to tell me that 'the police is our friend'!

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