The NCH Hate Crimes Report: Note from the Editor

Attacks on the homeless seem to increase or even in some cases they seem to maybe decrease a little as we go from year to year on these annual reports done out of Washington DC. What we do know is that the incidents are severely under reported by the police and the victims. The homeless may have minor warrants for cases of open containers or trespassing cases where they did not get their court date because they have no address so they may not call the police even when they were beat up pretty bad. Even when someone else calls the police for the person beat up the homeless person may say I am not making a police report because of the warrant. Not cutting down the police but in some of these cases it becomes almost impossible to prosecute because the homeless person is intoxicated and they don’t make good witnesses. The same goes for the other witnesses who may be homeless and have a warrant and say they did not see anything or maybe they are so intoxicated where it is hard to get the truth out of them. I have seen this first hand. Talk about under reporting, the police are not required to keep track or report acts of violence when the homeless are attacked like other protected classes of people who are protected under the federal hate crimes statue. I am not saying that all attacks on the homeless are the attackers fault because in some cases the homeless do start it and we may soon see some “Stand your ground” cases in Florida.
As you all know by now South Florida is the most dangerous area in the country for a homeless person to live on the streets. There are no doors, windows or alarms protecting them from the bad guys. That alone makes them a target. This month we have seen six attacks and two of them resulting in murder. We don’t know what really happened as of yet on the case of Scott Shorkey. All I know is that after he got stabbed at the bus bench he ran into our shelter a block away and I tried to work on him but it was too late. It looked like he was stabbed in the heart. He died in just a few minutes. The other two gentlemen that were with Scott suffered injuries. One is still in ICU and the other man’s injuries were not too severe.
Then we had Lacy Michelle Woolridge who was killed and her body was found in Dania. This time there is a suspect. Raul Armando Serrano, 28, was charged with first-degree murder after the woman’s body was discovered on the 3100 Block of State Road 84, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Over the years homeless people have become the focus of a few serial killers. In this case the authorities are looking at the subject to see if he has killed or attacked any other person on his travels as a truck driver.
The other two attacks are smaller cases. It is always hard to tell what happened and it is way too early on the case of Scott Shorkey but soon we shall see if they catch the bad guy. Bottom line is living on the streets is very dangerous. Deaths and attacks happen between kids who are not homeless and the homeless where the teens hunt the homeless as a sport where they viciously attack the homeless person that ends up becoming a murder. Then we have homeless on homeless deaths, these are fights between homeless people that usually start off as a little incident and then something goes wrong and ends up resulting in a murder. Then you have the drunken homeless person who may be so drunk or even a mental health consumer who says something rude or threatening to a passerby and that passerby responds with force and then that force turns into murder all by accident. It is important to understand that the report on attacks and murders on homeless people done by the National Coalition for The Homeless does not count homeless on homeless or other incidents where a homeless person might have started the incident.