It’s hot

Monica Torres, 22, is a young mother. A young mother facing first degree felong cruelty charges. She did not beat her child, she did not touch her child.

Police found her 9 month old baby girl locked in a car in the parking lot of a shopping mall. She had been there for almost an hour. She was buckled up in a car seat, not even a window open in the vehicle. The temperature in the car was over 90 degrees. Police say the infant was screaming and sweating profusely. Paramedics checked her and she was ok.

Torres was located in a nearby store. She told police she had forgotten her daughter was in the car.

Facing felony cruelty charges. She is probably pretty worried. But she is lucky. She could be facing the charges, and a funeral.

It's not easy. You pull up to a place, the child maybe sleeping. You hate to wake them. It is a hassle to wake the child, carry them or deal with a stroller. It can make shopping tiring. I can agree with all of that.

But the alternative is unthinkable. It is hot out. If you have ever gotten into a car parked in the open on a hot day, you know how it feels. Now imagine you were trapped in that hot car, unable to get out. Unable to open a window and get fresh air. A child cries to draw attention to their needs. That is an instinct. But the crying would only make the heat and dehydration worse.

Mom is facing felony criminal charges. I hope she realizes how lucky she is.


Teen Conflicts

Evalicia Rivera, 16, and her stepfather Victor Vasquez, 44, seem to have had a complicated relationship.

There are reports that the two verbally argued frequently. And one allegation that Evalicia had complained of being slapped in the face.

According to reports Evalicia wanted more freedom to socialize. There may have been problems over a boyfriend. Evalicia was the oldest of the three children in the household. It appears she was well liked.

According to the landlord "She was a pretty girl and she used to attract a lot of boys,”  “So, the boys used to come through and he would keep running them out. There was an incident last year when they called the police and they came to the house because he came home and found a boy in the house."

According to a friend "She'd chill with us everyday, come outside, chill with us on the porch, but she'd only chill with us because her father, her stepfather, kept [inaudible] and stuff,” “Like, 'Get in the house!' She'd have to fight to get outside, fight to do everything."

Victor Vasquez has variously been described as a good father, an overprotective stepfather, a good man trying to do the right thing, and quiet and gentle. It was said that he didn't drink and that he had no history of violence.

Neighbors report there were loud voices coming from the home on Thurs. morning. One article says that around 4:30 pm a relative went to the home. They found Evalicia Rivera in her bedroom, dead from more than 10 stab wounds. Victor Vasquez was found hanging in a closet. Police believe they may have died around 3:45 pm. Another article says that the uncle went to the home around 3:45 pm and that the time of death will be determined by medical examiner. It is believed that Vasquez stabbed Rivera and then hung himself in the closet.

Police say there was no history of domestic violence in the home. And there was no suicide  note. They also say the mother was not in the house at the time of the murders.–stabbing-hanging0615jun15,0,3763296.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork

Teens….. From the time they hit puberty (and sometimes before) they constantly struggle for independence from their parents. The older they get, the more convinced they are that they know what is best for them. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy teens as they have a fresh outlook on life and are so energetic and passionate. But their experience with life is limited and they are still learning how to deal with problems effectively.  

Parents struggle to keep them on task as far as school, family obligations, and a certain code of behavior. Life with a teen can be traumatic.

Disputes occur over how much time should be for socialization, choices of friends, and what activities are appropriate. Often the kids want more freedom than parents are ready to give them.

Two more years and she would have been old enough to go out on her own. About 4 more years and she would probably have started to mature a little. She will never have a chance to do that.

Was he overprotective or a good father? Was she a tad wild, or just needing a teen's freedom? Really only the ones who were there regularly would be in a position to judge that. And even then, it can be biased by the age group you belong to.

A wife and two other children, grieving and facing the loss of the father (or at least the father figure) and the sister/daughter.

And a neighborhood that seems to be polarizing over the same issues that a family with teens faces. It seemed to be the younger ones that described him as an overprotective stepfather, and the adults who described him as a good man.