Monday, November 28, 2005
Dirty Gary (Indiana) 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
Last week Gary, Indiana made the list of America's top ten most dangerous cities in a Morgan Quitno Press release. But somehow, "dangerous" doesn't quite sum this story up. From the Chicago Sun-Times:
A woman who was robbed at knifepoint while pumping gas into her church's van couldn't believe it when the gas station attendant refused to call police for help. "I ran, of course, to the nearest place," Gary resident Rosetta Heffner said, recounting Sunday's robbery. Her request to call 911 was met with silence from the other side of the Citgo station's counter. She tried again. The clerk's response? "Use your cell phone."
The gas station's manager said he was sorry about the robbery, but clerks at the station do not make emergency calls from the front counter, fearing retaliation from criminals. "We have to be careful," he said. "If we call, then there are problems. They can hear. So we use the back phone. We are always helpful to the customer, but we have to protect ourselves."
While few jurisdictions require bystanders to intervene and help through "Good Samaritan" laws (particularly if doing so would place themselves at risk, which the gas station management would likely claim), it would seem like a smart option would be to have a silent alarm or police "panic button" near the front desk a clerk could trigger without fear of being overheard by criminals. That might help solve the problem, since the current "see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing" policy strikes me a tad too Kitty Genovese.

This story certainly makes "concealed carry" a far more appealing option, no? "Go ahead. Make my day."