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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Leonardo murder highlights danger of cabbies' work

The cold-blooded shooting of cab driver Isidro Leonardo on Tuesday morning highlights the danger facing Plainfield cabbies every day.

My heartfelt sympathies go out to his wife, children and family, and to his fellow cabbies, who must worry every day about such random acts of violence.

I knew Isidro on a casual basis -- he and I often bumped into each other at the newsstand on my morning forays for the papers as he was getting a strong cup of coffee and maybe dropping off an early fare going to the laundromat next door.

Having lived in New York for many years, where many more kinds of folks are likely to use cabs than in the suburbs where having your own wheels is almost sine qua non, I was acutely aware of how dangerous a cabbie's life is.

Besides being stiffed for the fare, and having to deal with inebriated passengers who sometimes don't even know where they want to go, there is always that chance that someone will rob you at gunpoint, or even worse.

I am old enough -- and have lived in enough rough neighborhoods, to which Plainfield cannot even hold a candle -- to be inured of the gangstas murdering each other.

We all hate the violence, but to a certain extent it is part of the life these folks have bargained for, where drug turfs and points of honor can often enough lead to gunplay and even death between various 'sets'.

But shooting a man who is simply trying to make a living and give his family a better life in a new and perhaps strange country?

That enrages me.

Even though the cab companies may have established procedures for handling robberies, they are no defense against cold-blooded cowards with guns.

I certainly hope that if there are any witnesses, they will step forward. And I hope that the police and the Union County Prosecutor's office are able to make quick headway in solving this murder.

There may be an opportunity for the community (and Plainfield Today) readers to help the family as more details emerge.

But mostly, right now I worry about the other cabbies, who must now bear an extra burden of fear and anxiety as they begin their daily shift with this crime unsolved.

What can be done to make them safer?

And who will take the lead?

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Rob said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to this man's family for their pain and loss.
What can be done??? Nothing.
We now have a liberal nanny state mentality where parents are chastised for being being parents so more and more children are growing up with zero respect or tolerance of other people. So many children are growing up with the " I AM SPECIAL " thought because no one wants a child with a fragile ego.
Then the very people and entities who brought us the New Modern Parenting - Liberals and Government - are the first to wonder why it's becoming worse and worse.

Ron said...

While I agree with you that kids have no respect these days, I think you're way off as to why this murder happened. What you have here is most likely a young male who grew up with no parenting at all and who has no value for human life. Someone like that is scum of the earth and parenting will not make a difference. This animal who committed this crime has no compassion for the innocent man's family or the fact that he killed someone for a couple bucks.

Anonymous said...

@ Rob,
It's ridiculous to blame the murder of this poor man on liberals, government and the new modern parenting (whatever that may be).
We don't even know who killed him. You should have stopped after the first sentence of your post.
You do ok when you attack the mayor, but now you're overreaching.

Anonymous said...

I say no more low income housing - Let's get professional people into Planfield. Living in the projects for generations is not a career path.

When we stop pandering to those who only have a hand out - and spit on it when you suggest giving them a hand up -will all of us be safe.

Let us hope Leonardo's murder is not forgotten, and some good comes out of this. Namely, we galvanize to get these types of people out of Plainfield.

To his family, prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

There are people living amongst us, who, through their actions, no longer have the right to life.
I was told recently at a community meeting we had where I live, which was sponsered by the landlord and run by the Plainfield PD, that if someone breaks into my apartment, and I do not try to run and I hurt the intruder, I will be charged! If someone attacks me, I have to try to run before I do anything else, or I get charged.

At this same meeting, I questioned one officer about the gang problem and she answered, "Hell we all have gang members in our families, so what ya gonna do about it?"

It is my opinion, that when someone commits violence during criminal activity, especially wheredeath or serious bodily harm occurs. has forfeited their own right to life!
Just this winter at the complex I live, a Public Works employee who lives here, (he sports a couple of huge metal police shields mounted on his dashboard), threatened to kick my butt(my word not his) and have my car towed because I parked in the space he had cleaned snow out of that morning. Now when I contacted the Police, they told me that there was nothing they could do, unless this guy put his hands on me. I am disbled, I take all threats seriously!

Anonymous said...

One sign of Latino gangs is to extort protection money or licensing fees from people working in their turf . . . not just criminals , but ordinary businesses!

Anonymous said...

When Plainfield is rated 479 on a scale where the worst score is 490 among all the towns in New Jersey to live in; such horrendous act of violence explains why Plainfield is given such score.

It feels as if Plainfield has no hope, no matter what people try to accomplish to make it better.

Yep I Said It!!! said...

@Sept 29 @ 1:52 - Plainfield's hope is in January 2011 -RECALL the Mayor -Sharon RobinsonBriggs!!!

Unfortunately this will not bring back any of the victims of gun violence but . . . Sharon hasn't a clue on how to get a grip on this increasing gun violence. Dishing out $20,000.00 plus to Al Sharpton is most definitely NOT THE ANSWER!!!

WTF was she thinking . . . oh yeah SHE DOESN'T THINK she listens to Jerry Slimey Lying Green!!!