From time-to-time I get emails from Newark, DE people who know the attackers and their families. Here are two received last week. One is from a person who went to high school with the thugs and the other is from a parent whose child decided early on to take a different path. For confidentiality (and safety), I omitted/masked details that might hint to their identity. As a disclaimer, these are merely opinions.
Here’s the first:
My name is XXXXXXX and I’ve been following your story since I heard about Austin and Jon getting arrested for what they did. Obviously I’m from Newark and went to high school with the two and their families. Excuse my French but let me first say, they are assholes. Take them down. Do whatever you can. They deserve life for what they did to Ryan. But that’s not why I am writing you…
Now the second:
My name is XXXXXXX. Words can’t express how sorry I am to see you in such a circumstance. You inspire me in many ways. Your love and strength is reminiscent of the Archangel Michael, rising above it all. I pray for Ryan and your family often and will continue to do so.
I live in Newark Delaware. I am not wealthy but I am pretty well connected in Newark. I can help coordinate activities, help you find lodging, help make medical arrangements if Ryan accompanies you, help with event coordination, etc. I am a personal friend of [City Big Wig]. [He/She] is a compassionate [person] that loves to help those people in need; [he/she] will be a big help in getting the word out about events and any legal coordination. Any local support or logistical help I can provide would be my honor.
I am not friendly with any of the Dirt-Bag family’s that attacked Ryan but I am familiar with them. I know of the parents of a few of the bastards responsible for your circumstance. These people never thought to tell their children “No”. These young men were given everything with no expense spared and raised privileged without responsibility or grace. It is sickening that as parents, they won’t take responsibility for their offspring’s actions and more sickening that they feel their adult-children should not be held accountable for their actions; but it is par for the course.
As a father, you and your infinite love for your family that you display daily inspire me. I am a father of [#] children aged… You are a Great Man!
My [one child] grew up with the assailants that attacked Ryan. Early in [his/her] life [he/she] decided not to follow their path, even though [he/she] too was athletic and popular, as their behavior demonstrated anti-social and dangerous tendencies and an absence of parental restraint.
[My child] is a lot like your son Ryan, the kind of kid that gets up early to clear [the] grandparents driveway when it snows (without being reminded) or takes charge when a college-aged friend has become a possible danger to himself or herself because they drank too much. [My child] is not perfect but in [him/her] I see God’s Perfection.
Ironically, [my child] works at a local tavern that was once frequented by Buck Vantrease (funny, he disappeared when the news surfaced of his cowardly son’s actions, and he hasn’t returned); as you know, the Vantrease’s are horrible, selfish parents that have produced no viable offspring. At the risk of sounding sexist, the mother Vantrease is even more evil and totally blind to the pain her children cause, this has been well known locally for years.
[The local tavern] remains frequented by many residents that know at least one of the assailants. I know that many people are aghast by the actions of Vantrease, May and the others. Others will be shocked when they are made aware of the brutal events that caused Ryan’s injuries. Many more will be inspired when they learn the love that your family has continuously shown since Ryan was victimized.
I can only smile that the parent’s are so embarrassed of their kids that they changed their social habits. Ironic how they go into hiding, just like their children did. Well, at least we know where they get it from. Sure, I might not get out anymore, but it’s not for shame of my children.
So, here’s a request. If you happen upon any of the thugs (and parents) out-and-about in a public venue, snap a photo of them or take note of their actions to send to me. The keys here are: 1) not actively seek them out, and 2) capture them in public.
My feeling is Jon May (and Austin Vantrease, when he gets out of prison) should not spend any money until fully meeting the obligations to Ryan. As for the others, they might want to start saving because the financial hammer is coming down. A few pictures of them spending money at a bar, a ballgame, the beach, or anywhere else would be nice to have (and hard for them to justify). You can see what they all look like on the last slide of the Home page, although I could use some better photos of a few if you have them.