Thursday, September 15, 2011

Belligerent drunkenness: not as fashionable as it used to be.

A while back, we had an incident here in Kansas City that involved a young dude getting beat up outside of a bar in a popular area in midtown called Westport.

On the surface, the story was pretty tragic. This guy (Brian Euston) was severely inebriated, apparently, and he was the last one of his friends to remain at the bar they’d been hanging out at that night. When he left, he was inexplicably beaten in a street not far from the bar, and he died of his injuries almost immediately.

No one really came forward to claim responsibility, as I recall. But the person who had attacked Brian was eventually discovered and charged with something that seemed appropriate for the level of crime that was committed.

The trial for the situation finally occurred this week. Stanford Griswold was being charged with involuntary manslaughter in the attack and subsequent death of Brian. Yesterday, the jury came back with a “not guilty” verdict.

I whole-heartedly agree with their decision, and am glad that Stanford and his family received the justice they deserved in this case.

Brian had been drinking in Kelly’s (a popular Westport bar, for some reason that I cannot manage to figure out myself. I hate that place…always full of assholes and douchebags) for 2 and a half hours. He and his friends didn’t even get there till midnight, which leads me to believe they might’ve been elsewhere for drinks prior to that.

It came to light during the trial that he wasn’t attacked just for the sake of being attacked. He was belligerent towards Stanford and Stanford’s girlfriend, to the point of approaching him/getting in his face and asking him things like, “What’s wrong with you?” and “Why do you look so mean?”

I’m not sure what Stanford looked like that night, but if some random person was all the sudden up in my face yelling at me, I might look a bit mean, too.

I’d be hard pressed not to react in SOME way toward the person, although in my personal background, the only belligerent drunk I’ve been incited to hit was my older sister. I socked her in the stomach once. In fact, we were at Kelly’s in Westport when it happened. It was many, many years ago when I’d just recently moved to KC. I was sober at the time, and she was pretty trashed, as I recall. She was picking at me for some reason or another, and I’d had about enough. I turned and socked her. I’m not proud of it, but it happened.

But I’ve had a few run ins with random drunk strangers over the last few months, and I have to say I don’t like it, particularly. But I don’t get to the point of wanting to hit them.

The last one that we encountered while hanging out at the Blue Moose, for example, was very odd, and was picking on me for absolutely no reason. Oh wait! I remember why he was picking on me…he was playing music on the jukebox, and he asked if we (me and Leo) minded country music. We said yeah, we did. He said something about him wanting to play it even more now! (Why’d he even ask, then???) Fortunately, he had his wife or girlfriend or whatever with him, and she managed to keep him under a relative amount of control.

The one before that was just an asshole from the beginning. He made snide remarks about me being an unhappy person, based on listening to me and Leo have a conversation about some feedback we’d received on our house that we were selling at the time, and over the course of the evening, he kept buying Leo shots he didn’t want, and getting drunker and drunker until the bartender told him he wasn’t serving him anything other than water for an hour. We left before he did, but apparently, he tried to run out on his $150 tab that night. The police found him and they were able to manage the situation from there, but still. ASS. HOLE.

Anyway, back to the case at hand…I feel bad for Brian’s family. But I feel like Stanford didn’t really do much of anything wrong, aside from giving in to his desire to put the smack down on the belligerent drunk that was harassing him for no apparent reason. I’m sure he wishes he could go back in time and NOT hit the dude, but what’s done is done. And I, for one, cannot blame him one bit for what happened to Brian that night.

I’m glad the whole “mystery” of it is solved, finally. And I hope our city can move on from the incident by learning a thing or two in the process.

(Yeah right!)


faithstwin said...

Being someone who experiences irrationality during certain times of the month I can see where you are coming from. When I was married to the asshole he would make me so mad I would hit and scream and punch and kick... ONLY after he had yelled at me and told me how horrible I was and what a failure I was, calling me every name in the book. People SNAP, y'all. And it isn't pretty when it happens.

But what kept Stanford from walking away, dude? He should have just walked away.

Judge Milian (on The People's Court) gets stupid people in front of her occasionally who have met under such circumstances: they didn't know one another at all or maybe only a little and maybe one had too much to drink and the other pissed that one off and they both get into a fight. She always tells them they are lucky it wasn't the punch that would kill the other one because they wouldn't be standing before her trying to get a couple hundred bucks from each other.

Stanford is lucky the jury reached the decision they did. I'm sure there are reasons beyond what I am able to understand because I can't see how he would be found NOT guilty if he was the one who threw the punch that took a life, but clearly there is something. I just don't get it.

But I do know my ex is lucky we had kids that kept me from doing things to him that would have landed them in the care of someone other than their parents.

Faith said...

He punched the guy in the mouth. The dude was so drunk, he fell back and hit his head hard enough to crack it open on the curb, as I understand it.

It's kind of like Farrah Leal, and how she fell out of that car that one time when we were in junior high? How she was so drunk when the car ran over her, that it didn't hurt her much, since she was so relaxed as it happened?

I mean, if that story was real at all, anyway.

Brian was so drunk, he didn't have the reflexes to hold his head in any particular manner as he went down from the punch. So it hit the pavement with a force that might not have happened had he been less drunk/sober and have been hit. I'd think our reflexes keep our necks/heads a bit more stable in a situation like that, as well as our legs, so that maybe, had he not been so drunk, he wouldn't have even fallen over from a simple punch in the mouth.

Stanford didn't buy him those drinks, yo. Stanford was just trying to deal with the dude giving him random bullshit in the street. Was a violent way to react? Sure. But there obviously wasn't an intent to kill.

faithstwin said...

Involuntary manslaughter is what that falls under. And even if he just hit the guy in the mouth, that punch led to someone falling down and hitting his head hard enough that it killed him. He should be 'convicted' of unwillful death. It sounds like this jury was to look into whether this guy is guilty of criminally negligent behavior, which he kind of was but there wasn't enough proof to hold him to that since the guy that died is a) dead and b) had no witnesses. There is nothing right about any of it. The jury just had to decide if the guy was guilty of what they had presented to them in the case. They could have been asked to see if he was guilty of 2nd degree murder. In this case, no, he clearly was not. Of course he wasn't guilty of that. But he *did* kill someone all because he didn't walk away. I'm guessing he served time enough waiting for his trial... I dunno.

Farrah Leal brought the pants to school with the tire marks still up the leg. Whether she had someone drive up them to try to make the story more believeable or not is a valid question. I just know I use that story, to this day, as a way to try to deter kids from being so dumb.

Fred Sanford said...

Fascinating logic....