What happened to West Penn Township Police Officer Melissa Ruch is a reminder that there is no such thing as a “routine” call for cops. Whether on duty or off, a police officer’s life is always on the line. But this latest attack crosses a very despicable line.
Officer Ruch, who was apparently on her way to or from work, stopped to help what she thought was a disabled motor vehicle driver. When she stopped to help, she was attacked by the man, had her uniform slit, and was thrown 20 feet over an embankment. She was airlifted to a local hospital where David Boehm, state police trooper and public information officer for Troop L, Reading, said she is still being treated.
The driver was described as “a Hispanic male, 6’2″ to 6’4″, 240 to 260 pounds. He was wearing a black t-shirt and blue jeans, the kind that go way down below your knees and possibly in a dark colored Nissan Maxima” and is still at large according to WNEP News.
Schuylkill Haven borough police Chief Jeffrey Walcott noted that what happened to Ruch is a sign of “how bad things are getting in society.”
I totally agree. As a former law enforcement officer, I can attest to the fact that society is on a downward path, accelerating with each passing day. When I began my career, in 1980, it was almost unheard of for female officers to be attacked or harmed by civilians. The unwritten rule of society — men should not hit women –was still being taught, by and large, by most fathers to their sons. Respect for authority was still present in most homes and on the street.Granted, there were exceptions of course, but for the most part only the hardest criminals or the drunkest fools resisted verbal directions issued by the police. If they did, they might eventually beat the rap, but they always took the ride, and the judges really let them have it the next morning at first appearance. With juveniles, not only did they reap the consequences of their actions from the police and judges, they also caught heck from parents awaiting their arrival home at the front door. By the time I retired, in 2007, the world police found themselves confronting every day had done a complete 180. Men, women, children, and “others” had no qualms about resisting orders from officers. They thought nothing of attacking both male and female officers. They cursed the officers of the court at first appearance. When called to respond to the station to pick up their children, parents often cursed out the cops, assaulted the police in front of the children, or arrived drunk or high to pick them up. Shoplifters and thieves felt no shame when caught, often attacking the store clerks who stopped them. School students attacked others in the school hallways and often beat the teachers who tried to keep order in the classes (the principal’s paddle that I have written about before was long since removed and with it, all discipline).
Not coincidently, in my opinion, fathers began disappearing from homes about this time, girls started having children as early as 11-13 years old, and attending church wasn’t even on anyone’s radar.
There is a war on women. There is a war on authority and on the police and on civilized behavior. I worry every day for the officers who followed me when I retired. I pray for their safety and I wish Officer Ruch a speedy recovery. And, like always, I’m waiting to hear from the women on the left, who insist there’s a war on women but don’t want to recognize that the war isn’t about free birth control pills.
Police are still looking for the Hispanic male assailant. Those with information should call state police at Frackville at 570-874-5300.
[Note: This article was written by Ashley Edwardson]