Man In Video That Touched Off Hartford Morality Debate Dies
Angel Arce Torres, 79, was removed Monday from life support. One year ago he was left paralyzed and mute after a hit-and-run accident that was ignored by passers-by. A surveillance camera caught the incident on tape on May 30, 2008, which led to a raging debate in Hartford about whether they were a morally sound community.
Torres was walking across Park Street when two wrong-way drivers raced into view. One zipped by Torres, while the second struck him, flipping him head over heels and leaving him twisted and motionless in the street.
Cars drove by without stopping as a crowd gathered on a sidewalk. One driver briefly stopped before pulling back into traffic; the operator of a motor scooter circled the man before taking off again.
The video touched off a round of soul-searching in Hartford, with the city’s newspaper blaring “SO INHUMANE” on the front page. Police Chief Daryl Roberts lamented at the time, “We no longer have a moral compass. We have no regard for each other.”
The driver has never been caught, and debate continues to rage as to whether this was an accident or a crime. It brings to mind the case of Kitty Genovese, a Kew Gardens, Queens woman who was attacked by the same man three times shortly after 3AM on March 13, 1964, as neighbors closed their windows and ignored her screams. The Genovese murder became a symbol of public indifference to witnessing horrific acts, as long as those acts did not touch the observers.
To what extent are we our brothers’ (and sisters’) keepers?
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