Category: Archive

Editorial Caution, moderation

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The news that a serial rapist may be preying on Irish women in Queens should serve as a wake-up call to all young Irish people living in and around New York City, and indeed all U.S. cities, but most especially to those who frequent pubs and like to stay out late.

Enjoying a few drinks with friends in a casual setting on a warm summer evening may seem like a harmless indulgence. And usually it is. But there are times when those few drinks become a few too many, and friends leave, and evening turns into night and then early morning. It is at this time that revelers are at their most vulnerable. When they eventually leave a premises they are often mentally and physically impaired, and thus easy marks for those thugs who prey on the inebriated and incapacitated. Robberies, beatings and sexual assaults are all too frequently the result.

In the case of the suspected serial rapist in Queens, there is a modicum of good news in that the police have identified a suspect. That the attacker appears to have followed a very clear modus operandi — he picks up women in his gypsy cab between the hours of 2:30 and 4:30 a.m. — is also a valuable piece of information for the public to have at its disposal. But neither fact, even when taken together, is reason enough to let down one’s guard.

Indeed, just the opposite is true. If there is a serial rapist — and police have good reason to believe one does exist — he remains at large. So far, police know of six women who have been sexually assaulted in recent months and believe that there may have been other victims who either have remained silent or have returned to Ireland. These are staggering numbers for so short a time frame.

Caution, therefore, is clearly the word of the day, with moderation running a close second. So, if you’re a woman out for the evening, do not leave the bar alone, no matter the hour, and when you do leave, make sure you know your escort. Men, if you see a friend leaving a bar unescorted, make sure she gets home safely. By rallying together, there is much a vigilant community can do to prevent such attacks while the police continue their search for the attacker or attackers.

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