Category Archives: crime

Donde esta mi ropas? (Where are my clothes)

On Thursday, I decided I need to get some clothes washed. I knew there were a couple of spots that did laundry down by docks in Gringo land. As I was walking out of town, this older Mayan woman approached me and asks did I need my clothes washed. I thought about it for a second and said yeah, how much. “25Q”. This price was cheaper then I would get in town, it was about $2.50 in USD and I admired her hustle. We walked a little way to this store, gave her my clothes and she told me it would be ready around 11 or 12 tomorrow. I gave her 30Q because I didn’t have any change and she promised to give me my change the next day. As I walked off I begin to think “Hmmm, who is this woman I just handed my clothes to, maybe I should have gotten a name.

The next day while on break I mention to Stacey (another student) how I needed to pick up my clothes, she remarked about how trusting I was. Suddenly I begin to think about the possibility of this woman stealing my clothes. I asked my Spanish instructor to accompany me to get my clothes, since it was around 11am- the time she said my clothes would be ready and the store was very close to the school. When we arrived at the place where I gave her my clothes, there was another older lady working in the store. I asked her were my clothes ready and she gave me a black stare. My instructor again asked her about my clothes and she told him there were no clothes there. She had no idea what I was talking about. My instructor being male and thinking that women have no sense of direction kept asking me was I sure this was the right place. At this point I begin to become very frustrated with him and repeated over and over “Si, Aqui” (Yes, here). We begin to walk further up the street where I first meet the lady. We return to the store to talk to the lady, because at this point I was convinced that the old ladies were both in on this plot to steal my clothes. I asked her once again did she know who else could have my clothes. She mentions that there was a lady that lived in a house in an alley behind the store and maybe she had my clothes.

As my teacher and I begin walking down this alley I begin to think about what I would do if I could not find my clothes. Counting how many pairs of pant and underwear was in my room, while also cursing all the old ladies in Guatemala. When found the house, my teacher knocked on the door and as we waited for an answer I saw my white and pink polka dot underwear on this woman’s roof. I had never been so happy to see my underwear before. When she opened the door I saw the rest of my clothes hung on random places to dry. She told me the clothes were not ready yet and we discuss a time for me to pick them up later. As she and my instructor spoke in their native Mayan language she seem so surprised that I didn’t know where to come and get my clothes. As we were leaving and passing by the store, the other old lady told my instructor in Mayan that the woman who had my clothes was lazy and the next time I should bring my clothes to her. When I did return later I didn’t even ask her for the 5Q she owed me, I was just so happy to get my clothes back. Of course, when I return home I discovered that my bag was missing and I had to return once again to retrieve it. She said the wind blew it away.

The moral of this story is- Do not give your clothes to random ladies walking down the street in the middle of San Pedro, Guatemala…or anywhere else for that matter. I did kind of feel sorry for the lady, it looked like she was the caretaker for about 4 grandchildren and she was really sweet.


Posted by on June 14, 2010 in crime, Guatemala, Learning bout Tab!, Travel




Today I subbed for a science teacher at the middle school I attended in 6th grade. The day was pretty uneventful, the children were pretty well-behaved. During the last class of the day I notice a student was wearing a pair of Jordan’s, which in itself is not remarkable because Jordan’s are a very popular brand. Looking at his shoes made me think of a boy I knew while I was a student at this school. His name was Rashad Brewster; we had both attended the same pre-school. He was also my “boyfriend” for a brief period in 6th grade. One of the things I remember about him is his love of Jordan’s, his mother would always buy him the latest pair. Even then it was beyond my comprehension why a single mother would pay 100+ dollars constantly for her 11 year old son. He was her only child, her world- subsequently he was very spoiled.  I maybe saw him once or twice since I left that school at the end of that school year. But, today I wonder how he was. Since I am off of the devil aka Facebook, I decided to Google him.  Surprisingly, I located some hits:

Derrika King had just graduated from Palm Beach Lakes High School’s law management program and was set to head to Orlando in the fall where she would attend Valencia Community College but as the result of a ride with a drunk driver King will never make it to Orlando. The 17-year old died just 12 days before her 18th birthday when Rashad Brewster jumped a median in his Nissan Maxima and hit a 1995 Toyota head-on resulting in King’s death. (read more)

Police believe Brewster was driving 80 MPH in a 35 MPH zone and when they were called to the scene of the accident they smelled alcohol on the driver’s breath and found a bottle of vodka in the car. Tests later showed Brewster’s blood alcohol level was .107 and .108 above the legal limit of .08 in Florida. Brewster was arrested in Palm Beach on DUI Manslaughter charges.


Shocked, I wonder was this the same Rashad I knew. The ages from another article matched up to how old he should have been. I went to the Palm Beach County Sheriff website just to be sure, there I located the alleged charges against him and his mug shot. It was indeed my Jordan wearing boyfriend of the 6th grade, minus the addition of facial hair he looks the same. He is currently out on bond awaiting his trail, according to his address on the site he lives less than 5 minutes from me.

The accident that took this young woman life was less than a couple hundred feet from the school we both attended. I have become so accustomed to being surrounded with peers and associates that went to college and are pursuing graduate degrees- that I forget that not everyone made it out.  Rashad and I were born in the same county four days apart, went to the same preschool and middle school, yet our lives at 23 are so vastly different. A reminder how easily my Black male peers can be swept in the lure and foolishness that is in our streets and how a Black woman on the right path one bad decision to ride with a drunk driver could end her life forever. I am sad that his life is forever altered, sad for his mother, the girl who died, her family and the community.

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Posted by on January 29, 2010 in crime, Florida


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When the village fails…

“I grew up with them boys, they don’t deserve to be in jail for all them years. She made it up, It never happen”. The young baby face boy who had only been in high school for a couple of weeks were referring to the crimes that occur summer 2007 in Dunbar Village, a housing project where he grew up and currently resides. The boys were his friends, people he had known all his life. The immigrant Haitian woman and child who lives were torn apart due to these boys were inconsequential in his world, the only meaning they have were that they were the ones who took his friends away. His statement resolves all guilt from the young men and their actions, while placing the blame solely on the victim. Swallowing hard I look deep into the eyes of this young man, who was the same age of some of the assailants of the crime who ages ranged from 13- 18 years old. Was I looking at somebody who could have possibly participated in these crimes? When hearing about the horrific crime that occurred in Dunbar Village and the number of assailants, one can’t help but wonder why didn’t any of the 10 males try and stop the crime or even turn themselves in? How can anyone be a part of the sadistic actions that were committed? Someone had to be a voice of reason; someone had to know that this was wrong and needed to be stopped. Perhaps the blame lay on the assailants intoxicated state or the momentum of the crime along with mob mentality. But this young man was sober and alone and didn’t see the guilt that lay in the young man’s hands.  This boy was has long reached the point in his life where he can differentiate between right and wrong. He has a mother, sister and according to him a girlfriend would he be ok with someone commenting the same atrocities on them. This boy who sees nothing wrong with a brutal attack on a woman and her child, only sympathizing with the assailants, he is sadly like so many in our community. When this story first broke, a certain level of disgust and outrage is expected from the residents of the community, but there was none instead there was anger from the news coverage of the crime. “So a lady was raped. Big deal,” resident Paticiea Matlock said with disgust. “There’s too much other crime happening here.” (AP, 2007) How a woman could declare the rape of another woman no big deal? How could she not feel for another human being that shared her same neighborhood? Where was the empathy for a fellow poor, black woman in America?

Dunbar Village is a neighbor jaded by experiences of poverty, crime, murder and rape. The stories of the people in this housing project are share a theme of hurt, betrayal and abandonment. Their voices and pain often overshadowed by the pretty beaches and bright Florida sun, angry because it takes a brutal rape for people in their city, state, country and world to know that they are there, that they are hurting. So they will stand and try to protect their boys and the name of their community because even if it means disregarding the pain inflicted on this poor Haitian immigrant woman and her son.

2 years later four of the ten men have been convicted of the crime, with more arrest still to come. Dunbar Village now has better security including a working gate and surveillance camera. Plans are under way to destroy the 60 year old housing complex in hopes to build a safer affordable housing community. Sadly the wounds are still present in the victim and the community has or will ever get over this crime. When there are a thousands of community similar to Dunbar Village, who residents lack the same access to opportunity, share in the epidemic of fatherless children, drugs and crime run rampant all making for the perfect conditions to create children to inflict this type of terror on their communities; What do you do to stop this from ever happening again. What is our responsibility in this? What are you going to do?

-Just Tab…but hopefully inciting just the change this world needs.

*I purposely didn’t go into the exact crimes that were committed in order not to glorified or inflict any more pain on this woman and her family than needed. For more information on the crimes you can visit*

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Posted by on September 12, 2009 in crime, Florida, politics, Rants


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