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Our opinion: Resonse to save a life

May 18, 2001

Nothing tears at hearts as much as violence against children.

Such was the case earlier this week when a 7-month-old boy was stabbed in the neck and left to die in a trash bin across the street from his home in Imperial. It is an act one would not expect in our little corner of the world, especially in a tranquil subdivision. We can be thankful the baby is going to survive.

Many people deserve credit for how they handled the situation. There were neighbors who came to the family's aid, helping in the search for the baby, and there was an off-duty paramedic who made sure the baby could breathe after the little boy was found.

It is that kind of community involvement that shows the people of the Imperial Valley come together in times of need. That is one of the points that makes the Valley a good place to live and raise a family.

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Credit should also be heaped upon the Imperial Police Department for its actions. Police were quick to respond and quick to find the baby. Imperial police Investigator Ray Valenzuela, following a trail of blood leaving the house, found the baby within 15 minutes in the trash bin in a neighbor's yard.

It has been said by some that the baby might not have survived if it had remained in the bin much longer. The loss of blood, the heat of the bin and lack of air could have proved a deadly combination.

Valenzuela was able to quickly find the baby and in doing so he saved the baby's life. That was great police work, the essence of why someone becomes a cop.

In a recent story about the case a neighborhood resident criticized police for not calling paramedics from the start of the search to be on standby in case the boy was found. We do not agree. It was a trying situation and the officers dealt with the matter in a professional manner. They should be credited with finding the baby in such a short time. In retrospect, we probably should have edited that comment from the story. It was unfair to the heroes at the scene.

The actions by individuals in this case were not out of the ordinary in our area. The Valley is filled with people willing to come to the rescue of others. That says a lot for individual blocks, our neighborhoods, our cities and the entire Imperial Valley community.

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