When we first received word that a 66-year-old man was assaulted with a baseball bat while in the supposed safety of his own home near Millville, we were horrified.
After much deliberation and conversation, we’re even more so.
Property crimes have been on a severe uptick throughout this community over the past several years — originally chalked up to a slumping economy, then mass addiction to painkillers and, now, many have been linked to heroin addicts seeking money for their next fix.
But getting property taken is far different from being struck on the back of your head by a baseball bat while you are in your home. That physical harm is a completely different animal, and one that can come with even more grave consequences. What if the swing by that bat would have been more forceful, or struck him in a slightly different spot?
It can make you shudder at the thought.
The physical harm is unsettling enough, but what about the harm of not feeling safe in one’s home? What about the emotional scars that come with something like that? According to police, the man was transported to a local hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries. We certainly wish him all the best in his recovery, and hope he can return to a life of normalcy soon.
The cold reality is that this is not the same sleepy community anymore where one can leave the doors to their home or cars unlocked. The crimes that have plagued much of the rest of the country over the years have made their way into our little coastal oasis, and the police can not possibly be everywhere at once to stop it all.
Again, we call for community action. We ask for our community to join together in the seemingly-simple task of looking out for one another. If you see someone near your neighbor’s home, and that person looks suspicious, call the police and tell them what you saw. We’re certainly not condoning you confronting anybody, but make the call. Our local police are responsive, and they will respond.
We’re all in this together.