Eric was a kid I've known for about three years or so. A good kid, one of the more respectful and pleasant guys in the group. Preston would drop by his house once a month or so just to see how he was doing. They would sit down stairs, talk about sports, talk about church, talk about school.
We come in contact with lots of kids, they come and go. Some cause trouble, most ooze apathy, but not Eric. If he was there, he was present. He was awake and connected. That is not the norm for most of the 16 year olds we deal with.
I liked him.
While reading the paper today I came across this:
"About 3:35 p.m., police said, Eric Dixon and Hector Soto, both 16, ended up in a fistfight at the playground, on Lehigh Avenue near 4th street, after they exchanged a few cross words, apparently over a girl.
The fight ended quickly, with Dixon falling to the ground, unconscious. Less than an hour later, he died at Temple University Hospital from unspecified injuries suffered during the scuffle, homicide investigators said...
[Eric's Grandfather was quoted at the scene a few hours later] It was another senseless killing. There will probably be another one tomorrow, and you'll be talking to another family."
This is a young man who was not out running the streets causing trouble. Yesterday would be just like any day in the life of any 16 year old boy anywhere in the country, except the ending.
He deserves more than just a blurb in the ever so present murder section of our Daily News. He will be addd to the list of statistics and it is not fair. He is not a number, he is not one of the notorious "them".
I'm sitting here at the keyboard, have been sitting here motionless for at least ten minutes.
I have nothing else to say.