Monday, November 06, 2006

A Funny Story

Some kids from my school tried to break into a football stadium from the pittsburgh post gazette:

Heinz Field security officers spotted the men on a security camera trying
to enter the stadium, a Steelers spokesman said. They first opened an exterior
door at Gate B without going inside, police said. They then took a folding chair
to the fence at Gate 5 on Art Rooney Drive, and one student allegedly stepped
up on the chair to scale the fence.

Heinz Field security officers then approached the pair, and as they
tried to walk away, they were apprehended by Pittsburgh police officers who had
been summoned. They told police initially they were trying to check out the
stadium because they had tickets to yesterday's 4:15 p.m. game against the
Denver Broncos, Chief Harper said.

Oh Ha Ha, college prank:

He said they told investigators later that one student was trying to
complete a music video featuring the other, and they intended to do the
last scene inside Heinz Field. A video camera and tripod were found inside the
vehicle, parked nearby, which police towed away.

Both were charged with criminal conspiracy, one with criminal trespass. The $1 million straight bond has to be paid in full for release.

Doesn't this seem just a tad extreme? A little odd that they would arrest some kids for trying and failing to get into a football stadium? I mean I've never tried to break into anything, but I imagine that security would just tell you to get the hell out. I know Pittsburgh loves their football, but listen to the bios on these two kids:

University-related Web sites suggest that both men have been active, involved
students one student is listed as activities director of the Undergraduate
Finance Association, and the other as a committee chairman of the Undergraduate
Entrepreneurship Association. Both also were involved in Carnegie Mellon's Mock
Trial competition, a program in which students take on judicial roles to
practice their speaking and analytical skills.

One student, on his own Web home page, lists his grade point average as 3.7 out of 4.0. He made the dean's list last spring.

They sound like real troublemakers.

Until you find out that these two students are arabic.

I took their names out of the excerpts from the PPG article above. What would have seemed a harmless prank by two white students is now treated as a potential terror threat because of the color of these boy's skin.

I don't know either Sudeep Paul or Shankar Durvasula, they are several years younger than me and in different departments. And I don't know if they are terrorists.

But I do know that they deserve a speedy investigation and bail that reflects the crimes for which they are being held.

The CMU community has started a petition group on face book to free them. And I am posting this here in the hopes that publicising this incident will prevent them from being sent to any "secret prisons." These boys are Americans born and raised and I hope that they are treated as such.


Keith_Indy said...

Another fine upstanding American raised kid...

My hope would be they treat all security breaches the same way. Treat them as possible crimes until they know for sure.

And for such smart kids, they sure were dumb thinking that they could break into an NFL stadium the day before (or of) a game.

Shinobi said...

Last I checked Keith "Innocent until proven guilty" was the American way. Not the other way around.

But maybe I'm thinking about some other country.

I just think a million dollars bail is a leetle over the top for a trespassing charge. But then my only experience with the law is watching Law & Order.

Still, it was pretty fucking stupid. But that's what my school specializes in, people so smart they're stupid.