Come to think of it, maybe kids actually should stay indoors and online all day.

In the early morning of 29 April, a 77-year-old woman was riding through the dark streets of Neyagawa, Osaka on her scooter, presumably as a part of her job as a newspaper delivery person. However at about 2:20 a.m. as she traveled along one stretch of road, her bike suddenly struck something and threw her into the asphalt.

Although she suffered serious injuries including a broken leg, it was still fortunate she survived what could have easily been a fatal spill for someone her age. The cause of the accident was a nylon rope that was tied to opposite ends of the seven-meter (23-foot) wide street.

Surveillance camera footage revealed the suspects to be two 16-year-old boys who were quickly arrested by police. The pair currently face charges including obstruction of traffic and attempted murder. 

According to police, they admitted to the act but deny trying to kill someone, saying: “We thought it would be fun to watch people fall.”

While it’s ultimately up to the courts to decide, it still seems that “seeking enjoyment” isn’t really an air-tight defense against attempted murder. That would be like me throwing a guy off a moving train and then saying I didn’t intend to kill him, I just thought it would be funny to watch.

Readers of the news online were equally intolerant of the boys’ hobby of vehicular manslaughter.

“That’s cold blooded.”
“Please throw the book at them.”
“If they didn’t think that would kill someone, please throw them off a scooter so they’ll understand.”
“Death penalty?”
“Please punish these kids with everything you got.”
“Let’s keep this simple. Just publish their names so their lives are ruined just like that lady’s is.”
“Sure they probably didn’t want to kill anyone… but there should be some penalty for being lethally stupid.”

Indeed, the fact that they’re criminally stupid could come into play in establishing whether or not they had intent to kill.

Perhaps a cunning lawyer will cite the fact that kids today don’t grow up with the values instilled by Wile E. Coyote cartoons and never learn that trying to catch something by tying a rope across a road will only backfire — possibly when your intended target magically evades the rope, and then when you go to inspect it, it suddenly snaps and wraps around you until you look like a mummy with a wooden sign popping out that reads, “And you think YOU have problems.”

▼ Largely because of the episode below,
I’ve never attempted to blow people up or chase them on rockets.

And you know what? That lawyer might just be right. So maybe the youth of today need to learn these lessons from each other.

Hopefully by now enough charges have been pressed that the next time a thought that begins with “It would be funny if…” pops into their heads, kids understand that it’s pretty much automatically a horrible idea, whether it’s pooping off a rooftop or throwing people’s food in the garbage and then serving it.

Source: Asahi Shimbun, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso

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