Overheated rhetoric lighting up local switchboards
Local switchboards are overheating with the overheated rhetoric from both sides of the Kobe Bryant sex assault controversy.
The switchboard at the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, where Bryant turned himself on Friday, has been inundated with callers spewing fury and invective at the sheriff, as well as those offering support for the alleged victim.
Eagle County government’s switchboard and social services phones were aglow with people calling anonymously threatening to do everything from withholding their tourist dollars to personally delivering incendiary devices.
“It’s mostly men, although one woman called claiming to represent the entire state of California,” said Eagle County sheriff’s spokeswoman Kim Andree. “She screamed for seven full minutes, then closed with “Have a nice day!'”
Some of the invective is well-reasoned, some just shrieks, and some is ridiculous.
“How much can you respect hate mail when it ends in, “Dude?'” asked Andree.
Since the e-mail files of public officials are public record, the Vail Daily was able to obtain some samples. Among them:
– “If you folks typically arrest people weeks before a decision has even been made to file any charges, I glad I don’t live in your fascist county.”
– Robert Tschombor
– “Some of your comments are unbelievable concerning the Kobe Bryant case – the press should be more interested in the victim than the suspect? Dude, we don’t know who the frigg’n victim is, do we? Better off keep your mouth quiet.”
– Gary Frutkoff
– The sheriff said the media attention on the case is “mind boggling.” “To me, the sad part is if this hadn’t been who it involved, this wouldn’t even be a blip on anyone’s radar screen,” he said. “Personally, I think they’re focusing on the suspect, rather than the victim.”
– “Welcome to the big leagues, rookie! Be sure to pick the right sheets, because you’ll be sleeping in them for a long, long time. My prediction, you ruin this girl and your career.”
– Larry Ross
– “Sheriff Hoy – It’s absolutely amazing that you are talking as if you are surprised by the media circus over the allegations against Kobe Bryant. What hypocrisy! The truth is if this wasn’t a celebrity, you’d have let prosecutors handle it. The case against Mr. Bryant should have been totally investigated before it became public. If your 19 year old “victim” turns out to be a publicity (or money) seeking teen-ager, then Mr. Bryant becomes the victim, so don’t preach to us about concern for the victim until we know who the victim is (innocent until proven guilty – remember?). It’s pretty clear that YOU wanted publicity … don’t pretend surprise now that you have it.”
– Dr. F. Reed
– “I feel so much safer now that villains like him are behind bars. Tell your DA buddy to go easy on the spotlight. He’ll get his movie!”
– Mike Perez
– “I applaud your decision to go forward with your investigation and prosecution of Kobe Bryant on sexual assault charges. People need to know that superstars such as Kobe Bryant are not above the law. The victim needs the assurance that she has the protection of the law and that protection cannot be bought or pressured off by the big money and star status of Kobe Bryant. Having to get the warrant yourself rather than through the DA’s office is concerning because it looks like the DA is willing to give Kobe Bryant special treatment because he is a star. Please go forward with your investigation.”
– Regards, Hayden Dent
– “I am writing to you as a concerned public citizen. I am extremely disappointed in your handling of the recent Kobe Bryant case. It is not only absurd to arrest someone on suspicion without evidence being adequately reviewed by your district attorney, but also is a dangerous abuse of of the power that your citizens have entrusted with you. The fact that it is taking your law enforcement agencies additional time to review compiled information is distasteful police work and at best, it appears that you and your officers acted with imprudent judgement and are merely seeking a higher media spotlight. You have taken Mr. Bryant, a gracious, polite, and revered public figure, and smeared his name and character in a horribly unfair manner. Please reconsider your actions in this instance and drop any further efforts regarding this case before the embarrassment gets too great for your tenure as sheriff and your good community.”
– J. Watson
– “I’m just writing to express my deep disappointment in the judgement of the Eagle County sheriff, and the department as a whole. In time, Kobe Bryant will be exonerated of all charges brought against him (that is IF the DA can actually come up with ANY credible charges to bring) and the headline-grabbing of your sheriff’s department will be seen as what it is. Unfortunately, the tarnish thrown so hurriedly and irresponsibly on Kobe’s well-earned reputation as a gentleman and representative of the NBA will take far longer to repair, if it ever will be.
“Something stinks in Eagle County, and it’s not Kobe: It’s a big steamin’ pile of Hurlbert and Hoy. Yours sincerely, Bob White, North Hollywood, CA.”
– “I hope you have all your ducks lined up before you start trying to ruin a good kid’s reputation and life. Because if you mess up this one, they just might ship you out to Denver to spend the rest of your useful days looking for Jon Benet’s murderer.
“And if, as I believe, you are dead wrong on this one, I will get a lot of enjoyment when Johnnie Cochran tap dances on your forehead.
You folks in Colorado have an off way of trying to make names for yourselves. Glad I never visited. And never will.”
– Larry Ross
– “Joy Hoy, you looked like a scared liar on television yesterday. You made no sense at all. Do you think Mr. Bryant is a flight risk? Why didn’t you wait until Monday to assess the situation with all your assets before making such an ill-advised rush? Did you ever give one thought to the damage a country clown like you would cause? Why not get your ducks in line before you brought such bad press to your community?
“You should be fired and all record of this issue erased if indeed the DA decides not to file. It was clear the DA was covering your careless ass.”
– Tom Burke, P.E.