When I worked in police records I used to play a little game I called ‘Spot The Stupid Person’. I’d transcribe the police report and while I was transcribing it, I’d try to figure out if it was the criminal, the victim or both who did something mindblowingly stupid. It was never very difficult. What was interesting was that every crime seemed to have at least one stupid action in it. Someone lets a stranger into their house at ten at night, a guy gets drunk and plays with a gun, someone leaves their car running to warm up outside. If you really want to stop crime, stop the stupidity.
If you were trying to find the stupid person last Friday night, you’d have wanted to be in downtown Tacoma outside a place called Club Friday. It’s an all-ages club near a couple of bars. 18-year-old Rhaczio Simms was one of a handful of gang members who got into a fight that turned into a shootout. There were over ten shots fired and when it was over Simms was dead on the ground and a sixteen-year-old girl who was trying to get to her car was wounded.
After questioning numerous witnesses to the shooting, the police had a name. This name was given out to all patrol officers on the next shift.
The next night a police officer was on routine patrol in South Tacoma. He spotted a group of teenagers hanging out a little after midnight. There’s a curfew for anyone under 18 between the hours of midnight and 6am. He approached them and asked their names. A seventeen year old told the officer his name and the officer arrested him. And with that, the murder of Simms was closed.
Now let’s see if we can spot the stupid act. Was it
A) Firing a gun in front of a bunch of witnesses
B) Firing over ten shots and hitting your target only twice and hitting a bystander by mistake.
C) Telling a cop the day after you shot someone your real name
D) All of the above
If you answered D give yourself a prize and since all four acts were committed by the same person, I’m fairly certain we have found the Stupid Person. Congratulations sir, in addition to being a murderer who just might get tried as an adult, you’re our Stupid Person of The Week! Let’s hope our judges award you with a long prison sentence.