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December 8, 2004
Being The Wrong Crowd

Today's Star-Tribune runs a cautionary tale for teenagers who think that their behavior has no consequences. Unfortunately for one Minnesota teen, his night of debauchery and crime left him permanently disabled and fortunate not to be dead. His so-called friends showed their true colors the moment things went sour -- demonstrating exactly why parents warn their children about running with the wrong crowd:

Minutes after he was thrown from a stolen car and paralyzed after a night of drinking and joyriding, the teenage boy begged his buddies not to leave him behind in a roadside ditch.

"Please don't leave me here to die," the 14-year-old from Stewartville, Minn., pleaded with friends, according to a police report.

But that's what they did, according to a juvenile petition filed in Mower County this week charging four teenage boys with felonies in connection with the Nov. 4 incident near Racine, Minn.

The 14-year-old was no angel; he participated in the car theft -- a major felony -- as well as smashing mailboxes and general mayhem. Since the other teens involved were a couple of years older, it appears to be a case of a young boy trying to fit in. He must have thought rather highly of these hooligans when he went out that night. Now, of course, he learned that character shows through in small ways as well as large, and the idea that these idiots would think of risking anything to help an injured "friend" must surely look as foolish to the young boy now as we adults instantly recognize from experience.

Parents often warn their children about hanging out with troublemakers. This lesson could teach a few before they get left, broken and freezing, in a country ditch in the middle of nowhere by cowards they unfortunately idolize.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 8, 2004 5:13 PM

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Captain's Quarters relays a story from the Star Tribune, "Paralyzed teen pleaded with friends who left him behind". Minutes after he was thrown from a stolen car and paralyzed after a night of drinking and joyriding, the teenage boy begged his bud... [Read More]

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