May be harmful to lend helping hand

What happens when a man believes a crime is being committed and tries to intervene?

He is arrested and is awaiting trial.

James Van Iveren of Wisconsin believed a rape was being committed in an apartment above him. Actually his neighbor was watching a pornographic movie.

Don’t judge.

According to police reports, Iveren said he did not have access to a phone so he decided to to take the law into his own hands.

Maybe getting a sword and kicking in his neighbor’s door wasn’t called for.

And yes, “thrusting the sword” at the neighbor was irrational. But his heart was in the right place.

As human beings, we have a moral obligation to help others when in need. Iveren said he heard a woman screaming for help and acted on this obligation.

Because of his actions and the repercussions that followed, who knows what will happen when someone is really in need of help and Iveren is apprehensive of being a good samaritan.

Yes, he should be punished, but not to the extent of possibly doing 33 months in jail.

He had justifiable cause, more so than police officers when stopping “suspicious drivers.”

And shouldn’t it be taken in to account that he actually cared that someone might have been sexually assaulted?

Doesn’t that count for anything?

This is why so many people don’t lend a helping hand in the first place. Scared of the pending legal troubles that might follow.

Maybe people shouldn’t help each other if this is what happens. The world would be such a better place.

Beware of the helpless looking individual you see on the side of the road on a rainy night with a flat tire.

They just might be in the middle of a wonderful picnic and may not want to be disturbed.

Helping them might just end up hurting you.

Wesley Martin for the Editorial Board.