We did it folks! Today’s edition of the Delaware’s leading online news source is running an article, Lawsuit Filed by Attacked Student’s Parents, about the civil suit filed against the six men (I use “men” lightly) involved in Ryan’s brutal beating. Finally, this news is in their own backyard. This will likely hit them where it hurts. No more obscurity and flying under the radar. They now will likely question if people recognize them every time they leave their home. I wonder if they will feel the shame as most everyone else would?
Please, take a few minutes to read it. Comment if you wish, but I ask that you keep it about the topic. In other words, this is not about the Phillies, or people from the Philadelpia/Newark, DE area. I’m a realist and know there will (probably) be many inane comments from people/relatives taking an opposing view. No need for me to engage is senseless banter.
[poll id=”20″] See previous poll answers here.
I’m telling you, I just shook my overly hairy head when I read the statement from May’s attorney, Ray Yackel. He said “his client is overwhelmed with remorse and since his release from prison ‘has not had the opportunity to work or provide restitution.’ Really? Is he serious? I kid you not, read the article… he actually makes this statement. Has he ever heard of a yard sale? What is preventing Jonathan May from holding a fundraiser? Hell, bake cookies and sit outside the Kroger supermarket selling them. Maybe bring your fighting buddies along with you. How about going door-to-door seeking donations? To me, these suggestions are nowhere close to being above a common, convicted batterer’s dignity. Well, what dignity might exist, I suppose.
Just a guy from Delaware says
First, let me offer my prayers and good wishes to the Diviney family. This story is just coming to light in Delaware. I’m not sure where the News Journal has been on this, but sadly I’m not surprised. It certainly wouldn’t be unheard of for them to kill a story. However, this happens at many newspapers (trust me, I’ve worked for several).
I want the Divineys to know that the majority of the people in Delaware stand with them.
As for the comments about Vantrease, May and the others being “too good” for public school, people should know that the percentage of students attending non-public schools in Delaware is among the highest in the country. And St. Mark’s has turned out many, many conscientious, productive, kind-hearted citizens. Every school, public or private, is going to have its share of bad apples.
I hope you can find some solace in knowing that the perpetrators’ days of anonymity at home have ended.
Carla Liberty says
If the families of VanTrease and May are as well-connected as others have stated, it is my hope that they can use these connections to perhaps find some sort of gainful employment for their sons so that the Divineys might start getting restitution (at least in May’s case, since he is out of prison).
In the interim, I pray that the families will hold some sort of fundraiser for Ryan’s family. The Divineys will never be made whole, but the costs associated with Ryan’s care, (and only one income due to Ken providing 24/7 care) aren’t going to go away. I think it would go a long way if they would reach out and try. Many, many others (most of them strangers) both locally and nationally have done just that. In fact, after the Today Show aired in December 2010, an ex-con sent a $10 check with a note to the Divineys stating that he didn’t have much money but he had turned his life around and wanted to help someone in need. God Bless that man, and God Bless all who have helped or will help this wonderful family.
David James says
Thanks to all for pushing to get this story in the local (DE) news. I attended the St Marks High School (as did Austin Vantrease), quite a few years earlier, but never heard anything of this story. From what I gather, they came from good families in reputable neighborhoods, but certainly went down the wrong path. I hope they pay for what they did the rest of their lives and are remorseful each and every day for their cowardly actions.
I have to laugh when I read the part about the ex-cons inability to pay the court ordered restitution b/c they had not yet been able to find jobs. My guess, they never do get jobs and just sponge off their families to avoid paying Ryan’s family.
This is truly a heart breaking story……..so infuriating that people can treat others in such a cruel manor. Good luck Ryan.
Thank you for caring. Though the horror Ryan and his family have suffered cannot be undone, we now seek to do everything within our power to ease their pain…and we have committed ourselves to the Divineys for the whole journey. Anyone who loves, cares and supports Ryan and his family is a part of Team Diviney. We’re here, and we got this.
Ms. Blasé says
“An attorney for Vantrease… did not return calls for comment.”
Can’t say that I’m surprised.
“May’s criminal defense attorney, Ray Yackel, said his client … ‘has not had the opportunity to work or provide restitution.'”
Really? After nearly 2 years??? Even if currently unable to give financially, there are still other ways to provide support. Giving one’s time is often just as valuable as giving one’s money. Yes, a check should be written, but in the meantime, volunteering to assist the victim’s family (the Divineys) in any way possible is the best and most feasible alternative.
Scott, thank you for helping to fill in some of the pieces. It has been very difficult to make any kind of sense out of this nightmare. Of course the sad outcome remains, but it helps to know how, why and where such evil originates.
Ken and Sue, many prayers and support continue to flow to you and for Ryan’s healing from everywhere. I hope you find some comfort in knowing how much you are all loved as you continue to try to put the pieces together.
Love always, Peggie
The best explanation I can think of are two things.
1. The Mays/Vantrease families must be well-connected.
2. University of Delaware did not want any bad press.
Delaware is a very small state where family ties and “names” are very important, and I’m guessing the families involved must hold some considerable ties to the movers and shakers of the state.
University of Delaware is known for keeping things out of the press. Check their student newspaper site, http://www.udreview.com. There is absolutely nothing on the case, and there was absolutely no coverage by the Review when Austin Vantrease got arrested.
Finally, yeah, I agree with Scott about St. Mark’s. The school’s reputation is such that people could roll joints in class and no one would care. For someone to get kicked out there, something must have been bad.
David James says
You are showing your ignorance when you make foolish comments about a school you clearly know NOTHING about. I graduated from St Marks, as did other siblings and niece/nephews. “rolling joints in class”……….I don’t think so.
Did SMHS have bad seeds, of course, but what school didn’t. School officials did a very good job of eliminating bad apples and promoting a positive atmosphere.
I apologize for getting off topic, as the criminals in this case are absolutely that, criminals. I hope they are held accountable for the rest of their lives and help Ryan’s families, financially, as their bills mount. However, don’t cast a wide net about a school you know ZERO about.
Thank you. My information concerning SM came directly from the NCC Police Dept., so was not made up. I could list the rest of the schools in order, but not on topic here. My intent was only to show that just because someone attends a private school, does not necessarily mean they could do no wrong, which is what some people seem to believe about Austin. In no way did I intend to offend anyone, was just stating the facts.
rolling joints in class? really?
In my 4 years at Saint Mark’s dozens of people were kicked out because the school has a complete no tolerance policy for drugs.
Lets be adults, both Austin and Jon were kicked out. The school has nothing to do with this, and according to other people here, their personalities were well established long before they ever set foot at Saint Mark’s.
I put in a request to Dr. Phil and Oprah to consider going into Delaware to figure out why the media has avoided the case, and why the two perpetrators and their family and friends seem able to dodge full responsibility (meaning providing financial help) for the horrific damage they did to Ryan and his family. If nothing else, I’d be interested in knowing how the media works in Delaware, and how they decide which stories are worthy of news coverage.
There’s also the option of innundating the newspaper with “Letters to the Editor”, unless they were censor them also. Even though we’ve moved away, I still keep up with reading delawareonline.com, and am sure other people do too. It was difficult raising “normal” kids in our area of Delaware. It was frustrating to constantly explain to my own kids, why other kids got away with things with no punishment, got special treatment, had parents cover for their actions, etc., and how it would catch up with them later on. Sadly, over the past few years, many of those “lessons” have come to fruition. Mind you, my kids hit a few bumps along the way too, as I’m sure most kids do. However, the things that happened to them never came close to such things as one old aquaintance going up to Vermont two years ago to rob a bank, one old aquaintance who recently did jail time for having weapons and a hitlist, etc. I say “old aquaintance” as in knowing them when they were 8-10 yrs old and realizing there would be trouble ahead. Those are just two examples, but the one common thread binding them all together was the fact that their parents believed their child could do no wrong, was above the rules, had connections within Delaware, etc. It’s been said that the Vantrease’s lived in an “elite” area of Delaware. Well, so did we. The big difference still falls back on what guidance you give your children as a parent. If a child is raised being “above the rules”, then that’s how that child will assume his/her whole life will be. This time, it didn’t work out for Austin. This time, mom and dad were out of their territory and couldn’t get the rules bent for him. This time, mom and dad had no one they could influence. This time, he has to finally pay the price on his own and actually be responsible for his actions. I’m just so so sorry that Ryan, and Ryan’s family are paying a much bigger price because of it.
When you mention the media in Delaware what I think you may not realize is that Delaware doesn’t have it’s own media. The News Journal is it. We don’t have our own television news, in the Newark/Wilmington area we get Philadelphia news and mentions of happenings in or anything dealing with Delaware are not common. So Ryan is never going to get widespread media coverage in Delaware simply because there is no media. I realize that it took the News Journal took 2 years to cover the story and that I have no excuse for, you may notice that many of us had some less than stellar feelings about the News Journal even prior to this.
You are correct. In all the 50+ years I lived in Delaware, there was very little local coverage on the t.v. after Ch. 12 (public) disappeared. However, Channel 6 does have a Wilmington, De. outbranch. Either they, or Ch. 3 also used to have an investigative reporter that would do local stories, but not sure if that still exists. There is also the Newark Weekly Post, which covers a lot more local news than the News Journal.
Paula, I guess someone doesn’t like your thoughts on letting more people in Delaware know about how Ryan was beaten.
Yes, Gail, same ‘ol, same ‘ol…
I’m really glad to see so much support coming out of delaware on the article. I believe that the reason it seemed that so little support was coming out of delaware is because people didn’t know. I don’t know any of the boys involved but I went to the same high school years before them and grew up in the same area and I know there are thousands of people here willing to help now that they know.
I believe you’re right that many in the Delaware communities were unaware of the horrendous attack of VanTrease and May on Ryan. However, I do believe that the media knew and made a deliberate choice not to provide news coverage for Ryan’s case. To find out why they made this choice, people who care would need to start asking the local reporters and newspapers for answers. Sometimes, justice and accountability will only come about as a result of great public outcry.
Yes, and to keep in mind that, unlike most of you, most Delaware people are just now hearing about this for the first time. There will be all types of reactions as it settles in and they try to comprehend how it could’ve happened. That’s why they need to hear as much information about it as possible.
Delaware is a very small place. He’ll get his, trust me.
J.R. — it helps just to know that there are good people from that area who can clearly see the great injustice of what has happened to Ryan and his family. Thank you for your support!!
Having moved away from Delaware a few years ago, I only recently became aware of this whole story. Delaware is one of those places where everyone seems to know everyone else, so am glad to see the story get published in the News Journal there. I think it would be great if someone forwarded more of the past details to the reporter and let them run with it. I have tried to read every article that came out since that horrific day for Ryan, and am just sickened that anyone could do that to a person. To Ryan’s family, I wish there was a miracle that could put your lives back together as they were beforehand. I admire your stamina and courage in dealing with what has transpired.
As for my family, we shared the same Newark Little League with the Vantrease family, and quickly found out the Vantreases were one of those families who held their noses above others. When I first saw Austin’s name in the article and what he’d done, my first thought was “OMG, his parents are STILL trying to deny their child could do wrong! ” Yes, their two boys (Cody and younger brother Austin) were good players….with Austin being “upped” to the 9-12 majors even though he was only 8….and yes, he cried at his first at bat, terrified of being up with the older kids, but mom and dad perservered and he was allowed to stay up there with the older kids. You see, mom and dad were part of the “elite” group, so strings were pulled to get him there in the first place. Many things occured back then that left the “average” families a bit disgruntled. If you were not part of that”elite” group of parents with Cody and Austin’s that thought it ok to sit and drink beyond the outfield fence during their son’s games, or to stand around and drink in the parking lot after the game, then noses were held in the air to you. Their boys were too good for public school, so sent to “the best” private Catholic school in the area. All of the “best” schooling does nothing if the groundwork for being a decent citizen is not laid at home. One of the first rules in our family was taking responsibility for your actions. If one of the kids did something, we made sure not to cover for them or turn a blind eye and blame it on someone else’s child. Another one was we, as parents, taking our responsibility serious enough to set a good example for our kids. Funny how things work out in the end, isn’t it?
I think the one thing that could bring the Vantrease family out from hiding and make them realize just what a horrible thing Austin did, would be to allow the News Journal to have all the info. It wouldn’t take long for the facade that they seem to have been built up around the “elite” to come tumbling down. As I said previously, Delaware is small and everyone seems to know each other. In this case, the truth and facts would overwhelmingly change the “my kid can’t do wrong and was blamed for something he didn’t do” attitude that people seem to believe up there.
Oh, almost forgot. The whole “elite” crew were/are diehard Phillies fans. In fact, Austin played ON the Phillies team in little league as that 8 yr. old.
Please lets not lose focus on what everyone is trying to do for Ryan. Delaware is a small state and everyone I know is fully aware of what happened to Ryan. Maybe those that didn’t know and saw the article in the paper can now sit down with their child and make it a learning opportunity. Everyone has the same feeling that they are horrified by what the Diviney’s are going through. We certainly can’t help but think what if that were my child? When we start talking about Austin being too good for public school and going to the best private school in Delaware, that is not the case. He went to public school all of his life up until 9th grade. If you live in Delaware you know that there are six large Catholic high schools and none of us send our kids there because we think they are better than public school children. When we start muddying the waters about playing Little League on the Phillies team it becomes petty. If you played for Newark National for about 5 or 6 years which almost all of the kids did, almost everyone played for the Phillies at one time. Please keep this relevant. We concerned people (Delawareans if you must) feel the same pain anyone in any other state feel. It is not because more people in Delaware love the Phillies. As we all know Ryan was not unjustly beat because of the Phillies. It was due to several boys not caring about what their actions may cause. We in this area are on top of this case and have been since the beginning. There are thousands of kids their age who have known the two boys all of their lives and yet constantly visit the website to keep on top of Ryan’s progress. We do not forget what has happened and we make sure that none of the kids do as well. We all ask why bad things happen to good people and there is no answer. Please don’t make this a Delaware/WV issue, it is about the pain and suffering of what seems to be an incredible family and community. By the way, I am not a family member of any of the boys, not even close. There are times when even parents who tried to teach their kids right from wrong still are unable to truly make them understand that every action has consequences. There is a lot of pain in this terrible life altering crisis and everyone understands there is no greater pain that what the Diviney’s are feeling. They are in our thoughts daily.
Gail Doyle says
Scott,Well said ….What a shame parents feel their children can do no wrong and it’s always the other kids …I agree all the articles should be posted from the beginning….to let all Delaware know what happened. Gail
Wasn’t Austin thrown out of the Catholic High School??
If VanTrease’s parents were part of the “elite” group, I ‘d hate to see what the not elite group is like — wow, talk about disturbing. Thanks for the insights — the more I learn, the more I understand how kids grow up to be criminals.
You think of private school, and right away it seems to put their students on a higher level than others. Sadly, it is a fact that St. Mark’s (where Austin attended) is on record as THE #1 drug school in the state. Nothing was ever publicized about the problem, but it was definitely there and even all the local kids joked about it, especially when a SM former student suddenly showed up at the public high schools in mid-year. If Austin managed to get kicked out of there, it had to be for something very bad, since the school would lose tuition from his family. Even with that, he somehow managed to get accepted into the “difficult to get into” University of De., which also makes me shake my head. Again, I’m believing strings were pulled for him. But the thing that really bothers me is reading that he not only returned home that night after the horrific deed, but had gone on about his classes as if nothing happened until the detectives went to the UD and arrested him. How can someone do that? What kind of person can just continue his life the next day as if nothing happened? I’m sorry, but I will never believe he has remorse for what he did. I now firmly believe the state of Delaware needs to see all the facts concerning what happened. I agree with J.R. about Delaware being a small place. Both he and his parents will not be able to cover over the facts any longer.
Scott, everything you’ve said fills in the blank for so many questions about Vantrease — he is definitely a product of his environment, and unless he gets top of the line professional help, this may be as good as it gets for him — and as he has demonstrated — that’s not good at all.
Thank you for adding so much insight into this situation.
My apologies if my comments were misconstrued to mean something unintended. The tie-in to little league came from firsthand experience during the time Austin and brother were members. The tie-in to the Phillies (both professional and LL team) was meant to show the family was huge (diehard, if you will) fans of them. The tie-in to SM high school being a known #1 drug school was information from New Castle County Police Dept. Again, I apologize if my comments were taken out of context.
I’d like to know the source of your “fact” that Saint Mark’s is the #1 drug school. Saint Mark’s is much larger than the other catholic schools and with more kids there will naturally be more drugs. I’m not going to claim this is a fact, as I have no proof, but I would imagine that the percentage of kids using drugs in any of the schools it pretty comparable.
And as for people going to the catholic schools thinking they’re better than the public school kids, my parents sent my to Saint Mark’s because they are devoutly catholic and they wanted God to be a part of my education.
Personally, I think this Scott character is making delawareans look even worse by being judgmental and making unfair generalizations. Lets keep this relevant. I don’t have a doctorate in psychology, and I’m assuming no one else here does either, so none of us will ever fully understand the complex series of events and influences that made Austin or Jon who they are, so lets focus on the only thing we all agree on, that we want Ryan to get better.
I stumbled across this information regarding Austin Vantrease on the internet. I had no idea. I just wanted to tell you that I went to high school with Gale and Bobby in Seaford. In fact, Gale was in my graduating class and I also ran across her at the Uof D. I will tell you point blank that she has not changed and is still a thoughtless person, who thought that she was better then everyone else. I have not doubt that her son is the same way. Believe me she hasn’t changed in over 22 years. Her nose was soo high you could scrap it off the ceiling. The last time I saw her was perhaps 11 years ago and she was still the same. Give up your hope of her ever realizing what happened. She hasn’t changed in 49 years and I would not hold my breath. Wow, it figures; she was never a nice person.
Ken, Down at the beach this weekend and have seen the article firsthand in person! Letting everyone here know that this is “our Ryan” we talk about. I am sure many others down here see the article too, it is on the front page of Section B, Delaware and the Region News, listed under CRIME! My husband picked it up at the local coffee joint he frequents at 6am, left there by another patron.
Ken, The shame they shall feel should encorage them to start paying restitution. I do not believe he has been unable to work. What 21 year old cannot get a job at McDonalds or at a retail store, or bagging groceries at Giant Food. If he is too embarrased to interview too bad. A lot of companies will hire ex-convicts.
This has to bring you a bit of satisfaction that by your hard work all, of Delaware is aware of what happened. Iam so proud that you continue to do this with unending love for your sweet Ryan. I believe when you do this Ryan is happy inside because of your commitment to him
Just read the article and the posts. It’s clear that with many of the posters, you just can’t get there from here, because — they simply don’t have the conscience, ability or grasp of morality to comprehend right from wrong. Very scary.
John Maletta says
I’m thrilled to see that this story finally made it to the daily newspaper in Newark, DE. Now their friends and neighbors know the real story of Ryan Diviney, as well as the real story behind Vantrease, May, and their band of thugs. As a side note, I feel like I’ve lost about 20 IQ points in the past ten minutes from trying to read and understand the warped logic of the handful of people that actually are trying to defend the actions of these convicted criminals.
Carla Liberty says
“Has he ever heard of a yard sale? What is preventing Jonathan May from holding a fundraiser? Hell, bake cookies and sit outside the Kroger supermarket selling them. Maybe bring your fighting buddies along with you. How about going door-to-door seeking donations? To me, these suggestions are nowhere close to being above a common, convicted batterer’s dignity. Well, what dignity might exist, I suppose.”
…….Strangers to the Diviney family have done all of the above, and they didn’t find it beneath them. Strangers to the Diviney family have ordered supplies for Ryan’s care and had them sent to the family. Strangers to the Diviney family have filled a football stadium full of people, donation buckets, for a “better cause.” Strangers to the Diviney family have done umpteen fundraisers including bike rides, community wide yard sales, restaurants dedicating “Ryan Diviney Days” and donating profits. Strangers have also held jewelry sales, and silent auctions. In fact a local Rotary Club held a dinner/auction to help the Divineys. (And more fundraisers are in the works). There are plenty of things the families of May, Vantrease, and the onlookers who witnessed the attack and prevented Ryan and his roommate from escaping, could do to help the Divineys. …..It’s a matter of will.
Who in their right mind would give a ‘thumbs-down’ on this? Get real, folks! Oh, I get it … it must be someone from Delaware.
By from Delaware, I meant a May/Vantrease supporter. No offense to the other fine folks from Delaware. Mea culpa.
I don’t know who they are but they have made fools out of themselves.
Gloria Gallalgher says
Know them for what they are.
Disapprove if you will but the truth will prevail!
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!!!
Will Nier says
I hope that some good can come from this.. I continue my prayers for Ryan.
Vicky Scott says
I believe that the Lord wastes nothing and that many lives have changed for the better because of this tragedy. Ryan lived for a reason that only the Lord knows, and the tapestry of his life is being weaved moment by moment, day by day, and when Ryan sees the Lord fact to face, it will all be revealed to him and Ryan will rejoice with gladness that his life touched the lives of more than he could ever count. And Ryan will say, “it was worth the cost.” We are only here for a flicker. We are in eternity forever.
Very well said, Vicky. Someone whom I admire greatly recently said, “Ryan has given me much more than I have given him.” Everyone I know whose path has intersected with Ryan and his family feels the same way. It puts joy into your soul.
Kindred hearts linked together for Ryan, and with the Diviney family.
Vicky Scott says
“I live in the moment. If I think about the past, I get sad. If I think about the future, I get scared,” Diviney said.
I am wondering if I can selfishly use this quote on my blog. It is very timely for a number of reasons. Of course I will include the link to the article but the blog. There are so many of us that live our lives “in the moment.”
I am thankful that you are surrounded by a very loving, caring, hands on community, which is an incredible gift that I don’t think many like us receive. They stand in the gap for you and give to your family what those responsible for this atrocious act of manic violence could never give.
Prayers for the road ahead. One step at a time, one moment at a time, you are carrying the banner not only for Ryan, but for many others like him.
Vicky Scott says
meant to say the link would also be in the blog.
You bet you can use it.
Gail Doyle says
Ken ,Glad it got a big space in Delaware news, They tried to hide for so long ,making excuses ,now the reality is there for all their friends and family to see..Really sad what lawyer says ,there are many ways to make restitution, at least show some kind of remorse to Ryan and your family. Always here ,May some kind of justice be served for Ryan!!!!!!! Gail