Turchin's Take: Coward strikes

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MIAMI - A couple of days ago, I wrote about how there seemed to be a new trend -- a good one. I was applauding the efforts of a handful of people, Good Samaritans, who didn't idly stand by and watch someone in trouble. They make the decision to help. Well, maybe I spoke prematurely. 

I am outraged after watching surveillance tape from the Shell gas station at the corner of Davie Boulevard and Andrews Avenue where one customer went berserk on another customer....for no apparent reason. 

It was bad enough that this low-life started whaling on Michael Stocker just because he was standing a little too close to him at the checkout counter. This tough guy unleashed a profanity-laced tirade and then, for a full minute, pounded Stocker -- chasing him around the store, landing one punch after another, even kneeing Stocker several times in the face. 

But what was more disturbing than the beating is the reaction of the other customers in the store. Nobody -- nobody -- stepped in to break it up or try to help. In fact, one man was on his cellphone, and he actually stepped out of the way so the attacker could get in a few more punches. Another guy at the register, watched a few seconds, and then grabbed his beer and bolted out the door. 

I understand people's reluctance to get involved sometimes, but as a human being, how could any of you in that store stand by and watch this man get pummeled? It was sick!  Despicable! You should all be ashamed and embarrassed. You're all great examples. Did you tell your wife, your mother, your kids that was you on the tape? They must all be so proud. I hope you have trouble sleeping. 

Oh, by the way, the Muhammad Ali wannabe eventually stormed out of the store, leaving Mr. Stocker with bruises on his face, neck and body and two chipped teeth. 

I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that the police would say to be careful, use discretion, and be very cautious, when you decide to get "physically" involved in situations like this. 

You could scream, hoping the guy would stop, or call the police. That would also allow you to be a good witness, locking in on a description of the guy. It all comes down to the individual: you. 

Watch the video, please. If any of the rest of you recognize the coward, you can do the right thing, be a good person and call the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. We've got to get this guy off the streets.

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