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Sometimes when you are fishing, weird things happen
January 9, 2012 9:12 PM   Subscribe

53 year old Donna Chen was out walking her dog when she was struck and killed by 22 year old Blake Talman. Her dog, a vizsla, ran off despite his injuries. He was rescued by a fisherman quite some distance away - and more than half a mile at sea.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt (47 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
I saw this and it made me :-(
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:17 PM on January 9, 2012


Oh, wow.
posted by the1inBK at 9:18 PM on January 9, 2012



It made it to CNN, too.

I have a vizsla. Here he is, upside down.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:34 PM on January 9, 2012 [9 favorites]


What happened to the dog? As far as I can parse, woman gets hit by drunk, drunk gets shamed in newspaper (and on MetaFilter), man find dog, and then... ?
posted by KokuRyu at 9:40 PM on January 9, 2012


It's like something out of a P. T. Anderson movie.

Also, jesus fucking christ.

if you are drunk

DO NOT FUCKING DRIVE.
posted by pts at 9:40 PM on January 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Koku: I think I read on the Reddit thread (so, yeah, grain of salt etc.) that the puppy was chipped and reunited with its family.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:42 PM on January 9, 2012


Really, really sad for everybody. :(
posted by darkstar at 9:46 PM on January 9, 2012


From the video, the dog was hurt in the hit-and-run. I wonder if it went into the water because walking was too painful.
posted by cazoo at 9:47 PM on January 9, 2012


From the Herald Tribune:

Chen, a registered nurse and homemaker, has been married to Wellington Chen, a semi-retired emergency room physician for 26 years. The couple have three children: William, 20, Tiffany, 18 and Andrew 15.

A memorial erected Monday at the spot of her death included a large wooden white cross and several floral arrangements. Chen's dog, which ran away and jumped into the Gulf of Mexico after the wreck, was rescued and returned to Chen's husband by a kayaker Saturday.

posted by roger ackroyd at 9:48 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The fisherman's video explains at the end that the dog had a chip.
posted by mediareport at 9:48 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]



This is the best picture I have been able to find of him . (from this article)
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:51 PM on January 9, 2012


He needs the front paw more for swimming than for walking.
posted by BurnChao at 10:04 PM on January 9, 2012


The police ejected the driver from a beach area for being drunk and so he left in his car.
posted by telstar at 10:20 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fuck that piece of shit. 22 and he had a rap sheet longer than anyone should. I hope he stops being terrible after his long prison stay.

I'm not normally angry about stuff, but that guy is the worst.

I'm happy the dog was rescued, but then I read that guys history and just...

am going to bed really unhappy tonight because people are terrible.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:25 PM on January 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


OnTheLastCastle: "I hope he stops being terrible after his long prison stay"

Yes, prison has a long history of making terrible people less terrible.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:05 PM on January 9, 2012 [13 favorites]


Every time i watch COPS and i see them seize a car from someone simply having pot in it, i wonder why we have people in town with their 7th dwi and all they get is a slap on the wrist. Seize the car on the first or second dwi. I lost several classmates from growing up because of drunk drivers. None were the drunks. The drunks always seem to survive. Fuck them. I have no sympathy for them at all, they deserve none. It's not hard to not drink if you are driving, i've done it. If you drink, either don't drive or have a non-drinking friend drive. Oh, but then you make fun of the non-drinker. :P
posted by usagizero at 11:35 PM on January 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


DWI/DUI should involve immediate ban of 5 years and seizure of your vehicle, which is then sold and paid into a victims fund.

The police ejected the driver from a beach area for being drunk and so he left in his car. There has to be some way to prevent idiots from climbing into cars while drunk, those deputies should feel ashamed.
posted by arcticseal at 11:57 PM on January 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


Yes, prison has a long history of making terrible people less terrible.

OK, then I hope he has a terrible time in prison.

No, I fucking hate this guy on paper, and if the universe were fair he and his friend would have died instead of Donna Chen, but he's no serial killer, just a drunken no-good dumbass loser who should have had no license or car.

The scary part is that he apparently is going to have a child in a couple of months. What will that kid grow up to be like? (Maybe better than if his wonderful role model daddy had been home, but still.)
posted by pracowity at 11:58 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hate the spineless passive voice that is always used to describe motoring accidents. She 'died after being struck'? No. He killed her. Heaven forbid we acknowledge that a tonne of metal on wheels hurtling around under human control can be dangerous when it provides such convenience. There there, we won't have the nasty reporter suggest you are responsible for huge numbers of killings, you poor cars.
posted by davemee at 12:23 AM on January 10, 2012 [16 favorites]


Fuck that piece of shit.

I totally agree with you, but I wonder, how much of this attention and vitriol is inverted sympathy for the dog? Mr. Talman's sins are many, but commonplace. He didn't merely drive drunk, flee an accident, kill a respectable citizen, and mangle her dog; no, this is tragic, but such an event doesn't reach beyond the local news. To Mr. Talman's misfortune, the dog not only survived but its rescue was dramatically caught on camera, thus giving the story immediate traction. Ironically, he would be receiving less attention from the Internet Hate Machine if he had killed it!
posted by troll at 12:26 AM on January 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


If you drink, either don't drive or have a non-drinking friend drive. Oh, but then you make fun of the non-drinker. :P

Your friends who do not drink do not thereby become your default taxi driver.
posted by thelonius at 12:40 AM on January 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


Watching/reading these events in reverse was like a movie script. How wild to have that on film, but how awful to realize why it happened.
posted by june made him a gemini at 12:53 AM on January 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Grief for this particular incident doesn't lessen the tragedy of anyone else killed in this way, regardless of media or internet exposure. I've never really understood that insinuation.
posted by h00py at 1:57 AM on January 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I totally agree with you, but I wonder, how much of this attention and vitriol is inverted sympathy for the dog?

Video of the nice doggy being rescued is why this is an Internet story, but the reason people reading this story would like to break the driver's nose is that the victim appears to have been a positive force (a nurse, the long-time wife of an ER physician, the mother of three healthy-looking children, a woman who was out jogging and walking that nice doggy) while the driver and his pals (Dim and Georgie?) come across as negative forces (public obnoxiousness, driving around drunk and high and loud and fast, hit-and-run driving, general mook behavior). People have a natural desire for the universe to be fair and they hate to see a dickhead get off lightly (alive and healthy) after leaving someone good lying dead face down in the street.
posted by pracowity at 3:29 AM on January 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yes, prison has a long history of making terrible people less terrible.

I wish we had a working alternative. I don't know what that would be.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:30 AM on January 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some people just have no redeeming value. Sad fact.
posted by sonic meat machine at 3:42 AM on January 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


But the fishing kayaker does. I love the very matter-of-fact way he simply lifts the dog out of the water and starts caring for him. No wasted words, no more than a few looks around for possible origins, just internal "right. dog. okay. reel in line. lift up dog. dry dog off. secure dog. secure poles. head for shore. find dog's owner." Good guy.
posted by likeso at 4:06 AM on January 10, 2012 [43 favorites]


drunk gets shamed in newspaper (and on MetaFilter)

Because heaven forbid the man should be shamed for driving while drunk and killing a woman.
posted by orange swan at 4:57 AM on January 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


You know, KokuRyu, I read your post as
What happened to the dog? As far as I can parse, woman gets hit by drunk, dog gets shamed in newspaper (and on MetaFilter), man find dog, and then... ?

... and thought, "WTF? How does a newspaper..."


troll: I totally agree with you, but I wonder, how much of this attention and vitriol is inverted sympathy for the dog?

You're confusing two separate but inseparate aspects. The story attracts vitriol merely because of the hit-and-run manslaughter (and to a lesser extent, dog maiming). The story attracts internet attention because of the oddity of the aftermath events.

Your implication that the populace only cares about the victim because of the dog is misguided, and I think the comments here prove that fairly well.

--

Seizing the car of DUIs is the best legal solution to a problem I've heard in a long time. Americans would straighten the fuck up fast, if their prized darling cars were at risk. (Except for serial DUI alcoholics, of course.)
posted by IAmBroom at 5:19 AM on January 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


>drunk gets shamed in newspaper (and on MetaFilter)

Because heaven forbid the man should be shamed for driving while drunk and killing a woman.


Innocent until proven guilty, blah blah blah. What is the point, beyond providing a useful target for our outrage?

Honestly, there was originally more information in this FPP about the damn ghoul who caused the accident than the dog rescued off the coast of Florida.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:31 AM on January 10, 2012


Fuck that piece of shit. 22 and he had a rap sheet longer than anyone should. I hope he stops being terrible after his long prison stay.

I see charges for driving suspended, a couple possession of marijuanas, and a possession of alcohol under 21. I mean, yeah, he's clearly a guy who gets in trouble a bit, but this is the first that I'd call serious.

Seizing the car of DUIs is the best legal solution to a problem I've heard in a long time. Americans would straighten the fuck up fast, if their prized darling cars were at risk. (Except for serial DUI alcoholics, of course.)

What's the cheapest car you can buy? $500? It's not a lot of money when you live somewhere where the choices are buying a car or not working, which plenty of people do. It's a hard situation because there are people who have demonstrated that they should not be allowed to drive, but the hardships (like unemployment, difficulty getting to appointments, like alcohol treatment and AA meetings) can exacerbate any underlying problems with alcohol there might be.

I would also say that in my experience there is basically nothing that you can do for serious alcoholics with DUI problems beyond put them in rehab and hope it sticks. I've known people who had done maximum sentences on DUIs multiple times and kept driving drunk everytime they relapsed. I had a client once who had been convicted of ten DUIs; he managed to go a decade without getting a new one, but he had a fight with his wife, started drinking, and decided to go for a drive. His license has been suspended and revoked longer than I've been alive, so obviously that's not really doing anything. The judge gave him a fairly long sentence, but there's only so long he can stay in jail.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:59 AM on January 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Joakim Ziegler: " Yes, prison has a long history of making terrible people less terrible."

Don't pee on her hope parade.
posted by IndigoRain at 6:08 AM on January 10, 2012


don't worry, he and the dog will be connected through an animal/prisoner rehab program. They will appear to become good friends, until that day twenty years later when this dude, following a cheap, boozy affair - abandoning the halting progress he had previously made - when the dude in a moment of slightly drunken remorse steps off a curb and as the red-hand on the signal begins blinking, and the dog, knowing this is wrong... hesitates, and one of those $500 formerly DUI possessed hunks of hurtling metal comes careening down the street... END, cut to universe/stars.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 6:34 AM on January 10, 2012


It's not a lot of money when you live somewhere where the choices are buying a car or not working [...] I had a client once who had been convicted of ten DUIs [...]

In cases like that, it would be worth forcing them (as an alternative to prison) to relocate to a place where they don't need a car to get to work, banning them from owning cars, and running spot checks to see how they get to work in the morning. If the guy is regularly driving, he'll be caught.
posted by pracowity at 6:47 AM on January 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


ARGH. Poor puppy all cold and wet and huddled in the boat. Now I'm going to have to grab and hug the first dog I see today, which will likely end badly for everyone.
posted by elizardbits at 7:24 AM on January 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


What I want to know is whether this dog catch exceeded the federal quota's on viszla fishing or not.
posted by spicynuts at 7:28 AM on January 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Vizslas are amazing dogs. I always wanted one, but I don't think I'm strong-willed enough to hold my own against what has always seemed to me to be the Christopher Walken of the puppy kingdom - charismatic, intense and quietly indomitable. After three days I'd be the silent adjunct to the dog's glamorous lifestyle. At least greyhounds let you pretend to be the boss.

When I moved to north carolina I failed the driving test because I didn't bother to read the penalties for drinking and driving since I don't do it and figured that there'd be at most a question or two on it. Half the test was drinking and driving related, so I guessed. It turns out I'm far harsher on drunk drivers that the state. You can continue to drive up until I think your fourth conviction for drunk driving in this state! Because heaven forbid we inconvenience people who are so fucking callous to possible risk to others that they get loaded and go out joyriding.
posted by winna at 7:55 AM on January 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


But the fishing kayaker does. I love the very matter-of-fact way he simply lifts the dog out of the water and starts caring for him. No wasted words, no more than a few looks around for possible origins, just internal "right. dog. okay. reel in line. lift up dog. dry dog off. secure dog. secure poles. head for shore. find dog's owner." Good guy.

That's the thing that struck me - such difference between those two men.

I used to be that 22year old douchebag - pulled a lot of shit that I am very fortunate didn't kill or maim anyone, although I did get stabbed in a drunken fight at a house party.

About a year after that, very shortly after my son was born, I was out carousing and drinking and causing trouble. I missed a ride with my friends, and had to walk home. I took the path along Lake Superior, pausing to skip rocks across the water and watch the sunrise.

At some point, for some reason, I looked at my hands. Those hands were going to hold my infant son later that day - and it occurred to me that he deserved to be held by better hands than those. Hands that had not spent the night doing what those hands had done. Hands that .... were not those hands.

That was a hard morning and one of the few times I have truly wept.

There are moments, sometimes, where everything you couldn't make out suddenly comes blazing into crisp focus. I had struggled with the "why" of life; you know that scene in Trainspotting ? "Choose a washer, choose a microwave, choose a fucking dinner set" ? That. I was born poor white trash and I was going to live and die as poor white trash because I couldn't figure it out and I had been really struggling with figuring it out.

That morning.... That morning *everything* changed for me. The whole world turned that morning. That was the day I stopped being the lesser of these two men and began to be the greater of them.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:57 AM on January 10, 2012 [27 favorites]


My uncle has, I believe, 6 DUI's. Indiana permanently revoked his driver's license. He left the state and I think he is moving around trying to find a state where they will give him a license. I don't give a shit if he lives or dies (for other reasons), but this goes a way to demonstrate what a complete piece of shit some people can be.
posted by gagglezoomer at 8:03 AM on January 10, 2012


What's the cheapest car you can buy? $500? It's not a lot of money when you live somewhere where the choices are buying a car or not working, which plenty of people do.

Bulgaroktonos, getting a new car legal to drive (inspections, transfer of title, license plates) is considerably more work than the $500 purchase implies, in many states. Granted, you can drive on a title transfer for 30 days or so...

... But the point both of us have made about serial DUIers is still the biggest problem. Nothing short of constant supervision/incarceration can stop them. But taking away their wheels is a serious stumbling block, at least; and if the family that enables their behavior loses their car over it, the social pressure will also increase.

Not a fan of taking cars away from working families, but as an alternative to drunk drivers committing homocide...
posted by IAmBroom at 8:21 AM on January 10, 2012


But the fishing kayaker does. I love the very matter-of-fact way he simply lifts the dog out of the water and starts caring for him. No wasted words, no more than a few looks around for possible origins, just internal "right. dog. okay. reel in line. lift up dog. dry dog off. secure dog. secure poles. head for shore. find dog's owner." Good guy.

I love that man.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:29 AM on January 10, 2012


"What's the cheapest car you can buy? $500? It's not a lot of money when you live somewhere where the choices are buying a car or not working, which plenty of people do. It's a hard situation because there are people who have demonstrated that they should not be allowed to drive, but the hardships (like unemployment, difficulty getting to appointments, like alcohol treatment and AA meetings) can exacerbate any underlying problems with alcohol there might be."

At least for cities, Seattle's solution to drunks still needing to locomote seems to me like the most humane possible. They explicitly don't criminalize drunken biking, where if a cop finds an impaired cyclist they are supposed to everything they can to get them off of the road, up to and including a ride to where they're going. If nothing works they are expected to take the bike and impound it but until picked up when sober.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:34 AM on January 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


[Comment removed. Let's skip the "here's unsympathetic figure's identifying info" stuff on mefi.]
posted by cortex at 9:20 AM on January 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, I cried at the video. And I'm generally know for a heart of stone. It's been a strange year.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:59 AM on January 10, 2012


Yay him!

And I imagine that the family is really treasuring having Barney with them after their tragic loss.

It's the little things that count, and times like this remind me people do good things with no expectation of anything but thanks. And that makes me happy.
posted by Samizdata at 10:53 AM on January 10, 2012


Made me cry too. The fear and trauma were just so written and raw on that poor dog; the trembling and freezing and cowering, the way he kept looking up at the man then looking away again. It was terrible. But what really got me was that after running as far away from the scene as he could, when his little doggie brain finally started to get itself back together, the first thing he did was find someone and go up to him all "You're a human, please help me". And the man thought "Oh no, a hurt dog. Let me help you." Sometimes there's still a little goodness left in the world. That's the part that really undid me.
posted by troublewithwolves at 11:14 AM on January 10, 2012 [14 favorites]


unnecessary update: I hugged a total stranger's fat little frenchie. puppy slobbered happily. a good time was had by all.
posted by elizardbits at 1:23 PM on January 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


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