’Tis the Season to Beat Cripples

Attacks on the Disabled are a holiday trend this year.

By Jim Knipfel

Crime has its own trends and seasons, same as fashion, movies, restaurants, and politics. Every summer brings the expected Machete Season, of course, but over the past 12 months we’ve also seen an unexpected and unprecedented uptick in CNPs (Crazy Naked People), FFM (Fast Food Mayhem) and PPTs (Pistol-Packin’ Toddlers). And now as 2015 comes to a close, we’re starting to get some hints about what sorts of criminal trends we can expect in the coming year. If they pan out as expected, you can bet your sweet bippy 2016’s gonna be a year jam-packed with laughs and excitement.

The first hints that ADs, or Attacks on the Disabled, would be a trend to watch in the coming days first arose a month or two back, with a smattering of assaults, rapes, and robberies involving the deaf, the developmentally disabled, and the wheelchair-bound. This past Saturday’s events seem to have established it firmly as a new popular pastime for the more thuggish set.

When his break rolled around at three that afternoon, a blind 41-year-old Salvation Army bell-ringer in White Plains, NY grabbed his red kettle and headed into the nearby Smashburger to get some lunch.

As a blindo myself, I can tell you that finding the end of the line is not always an easy task, so I’m not shocked to hear the bell-ringer in question inadvertently cut the line, stepping in front of 30-year-old Juan Rodriguez and his 21-year-old girlfriend Audrianna Wignal.

It’s possible that Rodriguez, like most people under the age of 35, no longer comprehends what a red-and-white cane represents. Or maybe he’s just a dick. Or maybe he took the restaurant’s name to heart. In any case he was shocked and outraged by this gross breach of decorum, and punched the bell-ringer in the back of the head, knocking him to the ground. Rodriguez then straddled the prone blind man and continued pounding on his face as his equally charming girlfriend kicked at the man’s legs and side.

After wearying of beating a defenseless bell-ringer, Rodriguez, who was already on parole for an earlier assault charge, pushed himself to his feet, grabbed the kettle, and hurled it at the man, striking him in the head for good measure.

The lovely, fun-loving couple was arrested at the scene and charged with assault. When they were later released on bail, they immediately started looking for a paraplegic they could knock down.

The blind bell-ringer, meanwhile, was taken to the hospital with a broken nose, a fractured orbital, and assorted other head and facial injuries.

So...um...Merry Christmas, everyone!

Published December 24th, 2015


Jim Knipfel is the author of Slackjaw, The Blow-Off, These Children Who Come at You With Knives, and several other books.