Some crimes are so cowardly and compassionless that they defy humanity and shatter the Richter scale for depravity — even in the dog-eat-dog world that is New York City.
A pair of handcuffs and a haul to Central Booking Justice can’t be far away for the pitiless robber who squeezed off a round inside the livery car of Queens cabbie Trevor Bell on the evening of Dec. 3, cold-bloodedly spraying the 53-year-old family man with bullets, and leaving him clinging to life in hospital instead of enjoying the holidays with his loved ones.
Thanks to a taxi-surveillance camera, which captured the demonic drama’s every last grisly moment, cops lost no time in releasing the mug shot of alleged suspect Shawn Peace, 22, believed to be part of a gang that has struck at least 16 times in Queens since the summer. If that’s the case, no effort must be spared to drag him, kicking and screaming if necessary, to his final destination: a prison cell with many, many years ahead of him to reflect upon his diabolical deed.
This senseless crime chills the spine of even the most seasoned denizens of this city, not least because of its wanton and abject cruelty at a time when New Yorkers should be looking out for one another more than ever instead of providing our sworn enemies overseas with more fodder as they plot our demise.
We can all safely agree that life is far from perfect — even here in the greatest metropolis on the planet where opportunity and abundance are as readily available as air. Yet, even the worst-case scenarios in a city long familiar with them cannot justify violent, predatory crime for the obvious reason — innocent people, such as Trevor Bell and his family, are left to suffer the horrendous consequences.
A small consolation, added to the prayers of strangers everywhere, must now also become a source of strength for his desolate relatives as they keep vigil by the brave man’s bedside at Jamaica Hospital — that being Bell’s personal ethic, which lies in stark contrast to that of his miserable attacker. One was working an extra shift to make the holidays better for others. The other was working overtime to make himself a career criminal.
The immense ordeal of crime victims is one aspect of the collateral damage sustained when human beings decide to morph into soulless monsters to gratify their own selfish desires. Another is the future of a society where the only standard left for some is to raise the bar of evil — further. sabruzzo@c