Opinion: A brutal piece of four-wheeler

POSTED: 06/15/12 12:27 PM

If the courtroom is a mirror of our society, God help us all. Yesterday afternoon we attended a case that involved a man who had, for one reason or the other, driven his Toyota Landcruiser into a group of people in front of the entrance to the Princess casino at Port de Plaisance.

For the uninitiated: a Toyota Landcruiser is a brutal piece of four-wheeler that weight around 1,500 kilos. Not something you want driving over your toes, let alone over your belly or other precious and vulnerable body parts.

But in the early morning hours of March 31, around three thirty, this is exactly what happened. We understand that the driver of the Landcruiser felt threatened for some reason, but why on earth he decided to ram his car into a group of people – including female friends whom he has known for at least twenty years – is a mystery to us. At least one of the people in the group managed to evade the car by jumping in the fountain in front of the casino.

What is also a mystery is that the driver, after reviewing the video images of this more than bizarre case of multiple attempted manslaughter maintained that he had not driven over anyone. To add to the amazement, the defense had brought some of the victims as witnesses to the court. Were they there to slam the defendant? Were they after his blood? One woman had been unable to stand upright for a whole month and she is still walking with crutches.

But no, these witnesses were in court to express their gratitude for being alive and to forgive.

We’re not saying that forgiveness is bad or anything – on the contrary – but if our best friend drove his bloody SUV for whatever reason over our precious body parts causing us severe injuries and countless nightmares, forgiveness would get a rather low priority.

The female friends don’t want the defendant to be locked up for what he did, his attorney said yesterday, but that is most likely not going to fly.

The prosecution has demanded 8 years imprisonment against the 49-year-old driver. He does not have a criminal record, so it is not like he is going on another murder spree with his Toyota Landcruiser upon his release. We’re not into predicting the outcome of court cases, because the final word is up to the independent judge. Though we have to say: the prosecution’s demand does not come as a surprise, given the fact that the driver seriously injured five people with his rather idiotic behavior. And, as the prosecutor pointed out, they could all have died.

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