There is a truly disgraceful story out of Lakewood, New Jersey where homeless man Ronald Leggatt, 65, was offered $5 by a stranger to pour a hot cup of coffee over his own head — twice. Carlos Mejia, 22, of Jackson, posted a video of Leggatt discussing the demeaning act. Mejia witnessed the scene and at first thought the man was going to help Leggatt and was horrified as Leggatt poured the coffee over his own head. The coffee reportedly left burn marks on Leggatt’s face. Mejia confronted the man who paid for the act. Mejia said that the culprit was an Orthodox Jew, who allegedly told Mejia that nothing would happen to him because “we run the town.” (Lakewood has a large Orthodox population). The police located the sadist but decided that there was no crime to charge because the act by Leggatt was voluntary. Others in the Orthodox Jewish community were ashamed by the conduct of the culprit and came forward to help Leggatt.
Leggett lives in a cinder block dugout at at local ball field and told a reporter “Never thought I’d be in this position at 65.”
Members of the Orthodox community located the culprit and brought him to Leggett. The resulting videotape only showed the young man from behind. The young man gave him $20. That seems rather low for such an outrageous, disgusting act. Other members of the community responded with kindness, took Leggatt out for food, bought him clothes, gave him a haircut and put him up in a motel for a couple days.
I agree with the police that a voluntary act cannot be charged as a crime. It is not crime even to pay for people to hurt themselves. Presumably, a crime could be brought if this sadistic display was used to make money commercially. Thus, it has long been a crime to arrange prize fights on wharfs and in alleys. In this case, it is a dare between two individuals.
Of course, none of this alters the culpability of the stranger. The culprit is obviously someone without an ounce of humanity or morality despite his association with a religious community. He is dangerous preciously because he enjoys seeing people demeaned and subjugated.
30 thoughts on “New Jersey Man Pays Homeless Man To Pour Boiling Hot Coffee Over His Head . . . Police Decline To Press Charges”
A “voluntary act” cannot be charged as a crime? Really, JT? Ya think so? An act committed by a severely mentally impaired individual is considered to be a voluntary act, where the one instigating said act bears no criminal responsibility? While there is no proof that the victim is, in fact, suffering from mental illness, it is indisputable that a large percentage of today’s homeless suffer from mental illness, and I would argue that dismissing that possibility in this situation is premature.
The teen should hang out with the Maccabeats:
Yeah, Tin Foil, if only more people would think and act like the folks you describe from your law school clinic, everyone would be better off. Far too many sick, criminally-minded thugs roam the streets and have no compassion for the disadvantaged. They would sooner torture or kill them than to help them in any way. And it really doesn’t take much to be a positive force or influence in human society.
I think the assistance given to the homeless man is far more valuable than a criminal prosecution of the perpetrator. I would only hope that a lawyer in that area who has knowledge of elder law or social security law will look into possible benefits that will get him off the streets. The clothes, food, haircut and a few nights in a hotel are nice, but they are not a long term solution. My law school had a clinic to assist indigent seniors. I remember an elderly woman who was living on the streets. It turns out that she was eligible for survivors benefits because her son had died in Viet Nam. A surprising number of the homeless seniors were eligible for social security or veterans or some type of survivors pensions, but had no idea as to their eligibility or how to go about applying. Plus the lack of a fixed address or bank account made it difficult to obtain government benefits. The clinic successfully claimed benefits for many of these folks, and got them into low income senior housing. No one should spend their “golden years” sleeping in a doorway!
There is something unorthodox about this.
The thing is, why is this relevant, because AMERICA has sided unfairly with the Israelis, which has enflamed the Arabs against us. They and their own crimes of ethnic cleansing– admittedly, coming hot on the heels of their own– but those crimes have been hung around our necks as if we did it. Then the reprisals, that our war pigs us to drag us into more interminable wars……
the whole mess is less a religious issue than a tribal one. What was good for Americans should have been the question not what was good for them. We should have been neutral, between the zionists and the arabs, but, according to Gore Vidal, a Jew with a million dollars in a briefcase showed up with a gift for Truman, and bought diplomatic recognition for Israel….
so we need to get real about which side we picked and question that unthinking amen-corner allegiance every day it continues to drag us down to doom.
“Till then everyone in Israel spoke about Arabs who had just run away in 1948, but there existed no real historical research on it. There were two conflicting propaganda versions, one Arab and another Jewish. As one who received his education in Israel, I thought I knew that the Arabs had ‘run away.’ But I knew nothing else. The Jewish generations of 1948, however, knew the truth and deliberately misrepresented it. They knew there were plenty of mass deportations, massacres and rapes . . . . The soldiers and the officials knew, but they suppressed what they knew and were deliberately disseminating lies.”– Israeli Historian Benny Morris in an interview with Rami Tal published in Israeli Daily Yediot Ahronot December 1994.
“Jews came and took, by means of uprooting and expulsion, a land that was Arab. We wanted to be a colonialist occupier, and yet to come across as moral at the same time… The Arab armies — chiefly from Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Transjordan, now Jordan — totaled just over 20,000 men. The core of the Arab nations’ fighting forces remained behind, in part to ensure the internal stability of their own fledgling regimes…. Crucially, Israel had a quiet agreement with Transjordan that its Arab Legion, the strongest of the invading armies, would take over only the West Bank, which the U.N. partition plan had intended as the center of a Palestinian Arab State.”– Ilan Pappe’, Israeli Historian at Haifa University.
“To solidify their gains after the 1967 war, according to UN figures, the Israelis destroyed during the period between June 11, 1967 and November 15, 1969 some 7,554 Palestinian Arab homes in the territories seized during that war; this figure excluded thirty-five villages in the occupied Golan Heights that were razed to the ground. In the two years between September 1969 and 1971 the figure was estimated to have reached 16,312 homes.” –from The Zionist Connection II, by Alfred Lilienthal, p.160. 1978
“One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail.” –Rabbi Ya’acov Perin in his eulogy at the funeral of mass murderer Dr. Baruch Goldstein.
Want to read about what they really think of us? Less than a finger nail said one rabbi.
Israel Shahak was an Israeli war veteran and an honest liberal who documented the hateful excesses of the extremist rabbis of Israel. Their counterparts in NJ and NY are not likely much better. Sorry folks, this is a newsworthy story about the “light unto the nations,” etc etc.
Wait a minute. Then why is that soulless girl on trial right now for texting her boyfriend encouragement to commit suicide, which he tragically did?
If the man was mentally ill, could the suspect be charged with inciting him to harm himself?
Even if this was not illegal, it was morally reprehensible. He should be ashamed. His community should at the very least pressure him to volunteer at a homeless shelter. Whether the man was homeless because he was a drug addict, mentally ill, or just down on his luck is immaterial. He did not deserve to be mocked and harmed.
There are a lot of homeless people in CA. Full of misery.
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