Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Man beaten and robbed after being left at scene following cousin's arrest for DUI

The following are excerpts from a WSVN 7 News story that aired Tuesday, May 1, 2007, along with corrections and clarifications regarding the reporting in the story. There is also information that 7 News reporter Rosh Lowe knew at the time of air, but neglected to include in the story.

"...Borges and his brother were forced to walk home at 1:30 in the morning in a bad neighborhood by themselves.."

CLARIFICATION: At the time of the traffic stop, Borges (who is an adult) had a cell phone with him, and told the deputy that he was, in fact, calling his mother to come and pick him up at that location. The deputy continued to process the DUI arrest of Borges' cousin. When he was able to refocus his attention on the passengers, they had already left the scene on their own.

Reporter Rosh Lowe knew that Borges had, in fact, called his mother from the scene, but neglected to include that in the story.

"...According to BSO, they allowed Borges to call his mom, Luz Borges, but he started walking home without their knowledge. However, Borges' mother says the first time she heard from Borges was when he was walking home being robbed."

CLARIFICATION: Not only was Borges able to call his mother from the DUI stop, but his mother went to that location to look for him. Her claim that she first heard from Borges when he was being robbed is not supported by her own account in a separate police report filed with a separate agency.

According to report #07-3488, filed with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department that evening, Borges' mother told police: "...Luz [Borges] stated that her son, Harry Borges, had been drinking alcohol tonight and got stranded at the 2700 block of W. Broward Blvd. Luz stated that when she arrived at the 2700 block of W. Broward Blvd., that Harry was not there. Luz stated that she spoke with Harry via cell phone at approximately 0200 hrs this morning. Luz advised that at this time Harry said he was walking on 27th Ave and that he could see the SWAP SHOP. Luz advised that Harry also told her some people had a bottle and were trying to get his necklace. Luz stated that she and other family members were looking for Harry. Luz was issued a case number."

Borges' attorney who is planning on filing a lawsuit said..."If a BSO police officer stops a Greyhound bus, and if the driver is arrested for drunk driving, do they tell all the passengers to walk home?"

CLARIFICATION:If a Greyhound bus has a mechanical problem, Greyhound would probably send a replacement bus to take the passengers. We suspect Greyhound would do the same if one of their drivers became incapacitated.

Regarding passengers in private vehicles, citizens should ask whether it is a wise use of their taxpayer money and manpower to pull law enforcement personnel from patroling their neighborhoods to transport adult passengers who are able to call for someone to get them, and who made the informed choice to get into a car with a drunk driver.

No one deserves to become a victim of a crime, and someone does need to be held responsible for shooting Mr. Borges, but the question is whether the responsible person is the suspect who shot him, or a law enforcement officer who, hours before the shooting and in another part of town, prevented Mr. Borges' intoxicated cousin from possibly hurting himself, Mr. Borges and others...a law enforcment officer who watched Mr. Borges (an adult, not a juvenile) call his mother to come and get him (a called verified by his mother's own account to police)...a law enforcement officer who had nothing to do with Mr. Borges' choice to walk away from the scene rather than wait for his mother to arrive.