They all walked by a homeless person who was on his stomach, bleeding to death - after he had rescued a woman from a knife-wielding rapist. That's the headline, anyway:
NEW YORK – The homeless man lay face down, unmoving, on the sidewalk outside an apartment building, blood from knife wounds pooling underneath his body.
It wasn't until after the 31-year-old Guatemalan immigrant had been lying there for nearly an hour that emergency workers arrived, and by then, it was too late. Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax — who police said was stabbed while intervening to help a woman being attacked — had died.
The reality is something different.
There are a lot of bums in cities like New York and San Francisco. Most often you just see a pile of clothes, or the outline of a body underneath a jacket or cover. What do you suppose would happen to a person who went around flipping these homeless people over?
In hindsight, of course everyone did the wrong thing by not calling the police. Yet the people who didn't call the police didn't realize the guy was dying. Hindsight bias makes great headlines, while telling us nothing useful about culture or humanity.
Second, why isn't the woman whom the homeless man saved being excoriated by the media? If we going to blame people, why blame those who had no idea what happened to the homeless man when there was an actual person who knew that something bad had happened to him?
Tale-Yax was stabbed several times when he intervened to help the woman, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said. She and the other man fled in different directions, and Tale-Yax pursued the man before collapsing. Authorities are searching for the man and woman.
If someone saved my life, I'd try to figure out who did it. If it were a homeless man, not only would I ensure that an ambulance came - but I'd ensure that the person had a fat wad of cash stuck in his pocket. Probably I would write several other checks. None of this, "Thank you," stuff. I'd write checks. It's my life, after all.
Instead, the woman never bothered to thank her savior. She ran away. She didn't bother calling the police to save her savior.
And so the story has another message: Why be a Good Samaritan when the people you save will let you die? All of you white knights out there should take note: A woman whose life you just saved no only will not sleep with you - she will let you bleed to death in the cold New York streets.