March 29, 2009

Hit-and-run driver's history of drinking

Reporter Jackie Majerus wrote this terrific story, from his son's perspective, about the man behind the wheel in the fatal hit-and-run that left 14-year-old Henry Waye, Jr dead this month.
I chipped in this one, which makes it clear that Robert Park's drinking hasn't gotten better in recent years.
And don't miss Jim Smith's column today taking the police to task for undue secrecy.
I haven't seen the paper itself so I don't know if a couple of other stories are in print today or waiting for tomorrow's issue (or later, depending on how things go).
I would ask that if anyone who knows Park -- friends, family, coworkers, etc. -- would like to offer a different perspective on the man, we are eager to hear from you. We'd very much like to offer more balance, but with Park and his wife passing up the chance to talk to us, it's hard.
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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it is the new owner or a new editor or if I'm just paying attention again, but damn The Bristol Press is doing a great, great job with this hit and run story. You and Jackie are top notch!!

Anonymous said...

Enough, already. You vampires at the Press have done enough damage to the families of all involved.

Steve Collins said...

The only person who damaged any of the families involved is in rehab. Let's keep the proper perspective.

Anonymous said...

I thought this article was well written and provided me with a different perspective regarding this terrible tragedy. Great job of reporting the facts.

Anonymous said...

Anyone ever notice that the (" . ") in "Bristoltoday.com" in the photo of Main St. at the top of Steves Blog almost pinpoints where this tragedy/accident occured? Kinda chilling.

Concerned Conservative said...

The only "rehab" this drunken menace deserves is a prison cell.

Anonymous said...

Every time a family member picks up a paper or walks by a paper in a store, the headline jumps out and the knife twists a little more. Have some mercy on them.

Steve Collins said...

The knife twists a little harder? As if a headline can worsen the pain they feel? I don't believe it. In fact, I firmly believe that the most merciful thing is to see that justice is done.

Anonymous said...

I have been a subscriber to the Bristol Press for 14 years. I have never seen the paper approach a story with this type of obsession in that time. Sure, we all want the news, but this has gone too far. I'm quite sure that the tone you're putting on this story has far more to do with selling papers than it does about seeing justice.

I can only attribute this ultra tabloid style of journalism to the new ownership. I wish the newspaper well, but if this is the type of reporting we're going to consistently see, I won't be renewing my subscription next time around.

Anonymous said...

Parks belongs in jail not rehab, why don't the police see this?

Concerned Conservative said...

I understand the argument of leaving the family to deal with their loss peacefully. All they have to do is not read the paper. But, perhaps they might feel better knowing that the public is concerned about justice.

On the other hand it's people in the media who rant and rave about the greed of capitalism then the media uses tragedies to sell their news periodicals.

Anonymous said...

The Sunday paper went way to far. The ad's for the article all last week was even worse.

Steve Collins said...

3:30 a.m. -- Actually, you have seen the paper approach stories with far more "obsession" over the past 14 years. Off the top of my head, we've focused at least this much attention on the mall's fate, the new schools proposal, the murder of Father Lyzc, the deaths of two boys at Lake Compounce, the yearly budget battles at City Hall, mayoral campaigns, the Bugryn case and much more.
What you haven't seen much of is real coverage of police-type news because our police reporters for most of those 14 years didn't go in depth. They kept more to the tabloid format of quick and short.
This sort of in-depth journalism is anything but tabloid. It is, in fact, the very opposite of it.

Embarrased for you said...

"we would ask that if anyone who knows Park -- friends, family, coworkers, etc. -- would like to offer a different perspective on the man, we are eager to hear from you"

Geez, ENOUGH ALREADY! We don't need a "different perspective on the man." He's a drunk who killed a kid. Who gives a rat's ass about his history? Why should we spend a nano second more reading about him? I don't want to hear about his sordid past, his ex-wife, his drunken lifestyle, where he bought his vodka, or pretty much anything else about the jerk, except that he's been convicted and punished. End of story.

The rest of this isn't news...it's just pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Is this how you are trying to sell more advertising ? Is marty's package store getting a full page ad for free ?????

Anonymous said...

I am family of Robert Park. As I'm sure you can imagine, with as much of a witch hunt has been going on for him, you won't find a lot of outspoken support. The reason you aren't finding much in the way of family speaking out on his behalf, is because he has largely alienated himself from the rest of us. My comment is not here to offer a vindication for Robert, but rather an understanding of a boy, who became a man, without much chance of success right from the start. It is not my place to air more dirty laundry, but it should be said that there is a great deal more to the story of how this tragedy came to be from Roberts youth to today, than the ramblings from bitter family members that have spoken out. I for one, am glad that the police are being thorough with this, because I want to see justice done properly. With all likely signs pointing to Robert, when they make the arrest, it needs to stick. Justice is not done with a hasty arrest and then a "technicality" later. As far as the families perspective, we are deeply saddened, and disappointed, but have largely been out of Roberts life for many years. We hope the rehabilitation he receives will enable him the perspective to reflect on the mistakes he has made, and give the conclusion of his life a more thoughtful and constructive end with the sobriety he will no doubt find in rehab, or jail. Our deepest condolences and heartfelt sorrow goes to the Waye family for this senseless tragedy and loss. This will be the only comment I make on this situation and I would like it to not be published aside from the comments section of this blog. Having lost family of my own, the thing I wish most for the Waye family now is justice and closure, and I hope it comes sooner than later.