year ago today, Mike Tang, a research chemist in Riverside, California, was frustrated and worried. He’d told his son to do his homework — read a grade-level book, like the teacher asked — but the boy, age 8, chose a baby book instead.
Prosecutor: Now, when we think of a mile, we don’t think that that’s very far. But this is someone that didn’t have a car. This was an eight-year-old small child who was told that he had to walk all the way home in the winter at night.
Officer Doty: At night, anywhere, in my opinion, is just dangerous for a child, for even an adult to walk home that late. Even 8:00 o’clock doesn’t seem that late, but it just is. Anything can happen at any time. You can get hit by a car, or somebody can walk up behind you, you know, and steal your purse or try and kidnap you. Things like that. It does happen.
There are always infinitely small risks out there day or night…. My job is not to put them in a bubble and shield them from all possible hypothetical dangers 24/7.
Mike Tang: You’re saying this dangerous intersection has no crosswalks whatsoever?Officer Doty: No, it does.Mike Tang: It does have crosswalks?
Officer Doty: Yes. What we said was, if he continued down east, there’s no crosswalk farther down.Mike Tang: But you also said he knew the way home, correct?
Officer Doty: YesMike Tang: So if he knew the way home, he would not walk in an improper direction; would you agree with that?Prosecutor: Objection, speculation.Judge Randall Taylor: Yeah, that would be speculation, Mr. Tang.
Officer Doty: In my opinion, if I was in your shoes, I wouldn’t have left my child there. I have a 20-year-old daughter that I would not let her walk home.