Trouble follows after Detroit's Annie helped

Trouble follows after Detroit's Annie helped

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By Charlie LeDuff
Fox 2 News


DETROIT (WJBK) -- Annie the old shut in was trapped in her collapsing house with no heat, water or friends.  Harold, her neighbor, never liked her much, but he stepped up.  That's called decency, something we're in need of.

We aired their story and following Harold's lead Detroit responded.  We got her some heat.  We boarded up the shattered windows and cleaned the garbage that was smothering her.

Then last week they broke in through a window.  You know, they -- that ubiquitous, faceless gang that brings us all down.

"Went up through the back stairway all the way up to the second floor and then kicked in the door up there," Harold explained.  "She heard them and started yelling, and fortunately the door held and with her yelling, finally they left."

"That's the only answer, really, is to get her out of here."

"I heard a noise banging on this door... and I kept on saying, 'Who is it?  Who is it?'  No answer.  So then I kept on saying, 'John, get the gun, get the gun,'" said Annie.  "And he left, but I didn't hear (anything) going down the stairs or up the stairs."

Who's John?

"I just said John.  You mention a gun, they'll run."

They break in all the time and take even what's nailed down, but Annie won't go.  They raped her a decade ago and still she stays.  Take her out, she says, and she'd die anyway.

"Listen it's your choice, it's your life, but I don't want this last story to be that we had to carry you out of here because somebody murdered you," I said to Annie.

"I know, but when you got to go, you got to go," she answered.

"They always get away with it.  They break in.  They rob.  They steal.  They murder.  They don't care.  The average person doesn't hardly have a chance," said Harold.  "It just makes me sick to my stomach because I don't know what to do anymore.  I mean, I though we were doing the right thing and we were helping her and we're going to get everything under control, but as you see, they don't care."

"We got to start standing up and saying we are going to do something about it.  We are going to change the rules."

Harold's right.  There are more of we than they.  We have to remember that and look out for each other.

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