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CNN: Marine, Back from Iraq, Shot Dead in his Hometown


Fergasun

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Exhibit 1,432 of what's wrong with America

On leave from the violence he had survived in the war in Iraq, a young Marine was so wary of crime on the streets of his own home town that he carried only $8 to avoid becoming a robbery target. Despite his caution, Lance Cpl. Robert Crutchfield, 21, was shot point-blank in the neck during a robbery at a bus stop. Feeding and breathing tubes kept him alive 4.5 months, until he died of an infection on May 18. Two men have been charged in the attack, and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason said Friday the case was under review to decide whether to seek the death penalty.
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Crutchfield was attacked on January 5 while he and his girlfriend were waiting for a bus. He had heeded the warnings of commanders that a Marine on leave might be seen as a prime robbery target with a pocketful of money, so he only carried $8, his military ID card and a bank card. "They took it, turned his pockets inside out, took what he had and told him since he was a Marine and didn't have any money he didn't deserve to live. They put the gun to his neck and shot him," Holt told The Associated Press.
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He apparently had a troubled family. Holt (Aunt and guardian) wouldn't discuss it except to say "his mom and dad didn't raise him, just his grandmother and me." He didn't smoke or drink, she said. He had attended Cleveland's inner-city East High School, but asked that he be allowed to live with his aunt and grandmother and attend suburban Bedford High School for his final two years. "He saw his school was in turmoil and asked to get out," Holt said. Bedford High teachers recalled Crutchfield's smile, his pride in his appearance, his determination to join the Marine Corps after graduation in 2005 and his aspiration to become an architect.
Marines murdered by punks... why do we allow crime to fester in our neighborhoods and cities like this? I say send the whole g-damn Marines and Army into the inner cities to clean the places up from guns and crime. Just treat the cities with the top murder-rates like they are Fallujah. It's clear the police have no control over some of these places. We just don't want to admit it. I know this sounds extreme, but I'm not kidding. Anyways, its nice the cops and civil authorities did such a damn good job taking crime off the street.

The local Cleveland article is more heartbreaking.

Robert Crutchfield had dreamed of joining the Marine Corps since grade school. He joined the Marine ROTC at Bedford Heights High School and left for boot camp days after graduating in 2006. He survived 14 months of gunfire in Iraq. But the 21-year-old lance corporal returned home for Christmas and was shot in the neck by two robbers on Jan. 5 at a bus stop at East 72nd Street and Superior Avenue. Crutchfield died Sunday night from his injuries. His family wished he would have stayed longer in Iraq. "That's the horror of the whole thing," said Alberta Holt, an aunt. "At least he would have known who was shooting at him. It would have been easier to take." Holt said her nephew wanted nothing more in life than to serve his country.
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Crutchfield planned to study architecture in college after serving in the military. Crutchfield, Holt said, never caused trouble as a teenager and loved to read books. He spent weeks rehabilitating at MetroHealth Medical Center and a nursing home after the shooting. He had been doing well with his occupational and speech therapy and started eating solid foods a few weeks ago, Holt said. But on Saturday he came down with a high fever and an infection. He suffered a massive heart attack. His grandmother and sister were at his bedside.
Lovely, probably done in by a dirty hospital? Sheesh, done in by crime and then the health care system (admittadtly I'm not sure how preventable an infection is). This story is pretty sad... and I'm sure there are tons of others like this that don't get the high profile coverage.
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The more I think about this story the angrier I get... the world isn't safe unless we are in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Darfur, yet we don't care about stuff like this! Since they are allowed to search cars due to the "war on drugs" why not impose curfews in places that are this dangerous?

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R.I.P Devil Dog..sad worl we live in

well i hope that the ****s get whats coming to them....karma is a ***** on wheels

when i was stationed in N.VA they used to tell us not to walk around 8th and I or anacostia because we were targets for robbery....some ol bull....

i have a concealed permit now...even if i do go down..im going down fighting

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Having used to live about 20 minutes from this area I am not surprised. It's near titty bar road, the horsey track and numerous ares for easy access to drugs. Sad, sad thing that this happened but being that between Akron.Cleveland.Canton you have 3 of the most corrupt police departments I've ever encountered I don't see this problem getting any better.

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