Sometime between 3 and 4 am on Sunday there was the sound of a couple fighting. A nearby neighbor yelled for the man to stop. Allegedly Raymundo Marquez-Vella, 20, then came at the neighbor. A man stepped forward and reportedly confronted Marquez-Vella. Police say that confrontation led to Merle Graham being stabbed to death. The neighbor who had yelled at Marquez-Vella to stop says that she did not know Norman, but he stepped up to help her just the same.
After the stabbing Marquez-Vella fled the scene. Police have described him as
Hispanic male, 5’11”, 180 pounds with black hair and brown eyes
They also say he is considered armed and dangerous. A warrant has been issued for his arrest on the charge of murder.
On of Merle Graham’s nieces spoke up about the kind of man he is and how much the family will miss him. And she also said something that really stands out for me:
“But it speaks so much about how domestic violence is a serious and real issue and that it affects everyone, each and everyone of us”
It is true. DV does affect the community. Sometimes it is direct like this, sometimes it is in the pain and grief it leaves behind. But it is indeed more than a couple’s problem, it is a community problem.
Another thing that struck me was the difference in the two men. One allegedly was beating on a woman, all police have said about it is that it was a “domestic problem” so I am presuming it was a girlfriend or relative- someone close to him. He also allegedly threatened the neighbor woman simply because she spoke out to try to stop him.
The other man stepped forward to aid a woman, a woman who was a stranger to him. Guess which one I consider to be a man?
Beating a wife or a girlfriend to make them comply with the husband or boyfriend’s wishes does not show manliness. Accosting strangers because they attempt to stop a wrong does not show manliness. All it shows is that the man is a bully. It actually shows more cowardice than a man who runs from battle. Choosing to physically assault someone just because they are weaker, is merely an attempt to make themselves appear stronger. Any bully can do it, it doesn’t take a man.
The neighbor who yelled about the abuse and the man who stepped forward to defend her shows the kind of bravery that a bully wishes they had. They risked harm to themselves to try to prevent injury to another, and did so at risk to themselves. Merle Graham died attempting to protect a woman. Now that is a brave man.
For more info about Merle Graham oregonlive.com
A big thanks to D.P. for sending me the link on this one
Police have released information that Raymundo Marquez-Vella may be associated with two vehicles. One a green Pontiac Van with the Oregon license plate number VUD-718. The other is a green 1995 Mitsubishi Montero with the license plate number UJQ-231. Police are not saying how he might be related to those vehicles, but they say they do believe he is traveling in them. A reward is being offered for information about Marquez-Vella’s whereabouts.