The Sentinel's Jerome Burdi tells us about Anthony Thompson, a 26-year-old man who picked up his brand new crotch rocket, a Yamaha YZF-R1 (pictured), last evening at about 7:15 p.m. On his first ride on the motorcycle, he lost control on North Federal Highway in Boynton Beach, slammed into a utility pole, and died.
This page on the Yamaha site can give you a decent idea of the power of the motorcycle and inform you of its special features, which include the YCC-T fly-by-wire throttle system that provides "flawless response under all conditions," the ever-popular slipper-type back torque-limiting clutch, and six-piston radial-mount front brake calipers and 310mm discs.
The machine also comes with a one-year warranty. Unfortunately, its less-cautious riders don't.
After the jump: Lake Worth Massacre
Once-sleepy Lake Worth has had a lot of gang violence during the past year, but what happened this week took it to the next level. Picture a card game in a back yard next to a shed. Two masked men come in with guns, at least one of them an assault rifle, and just start firing away. To borrow a scene from the movie Hud, it was like shooting horses in an earthen pit. When they were finished, they calmly walked away, leaving three dead men and four critically injured splayed out in the yard.
The Palm Beach Post's George Bennett and Sun-Sentinel's Burde (who apparently has been very busy) tell us the Haitian victims were affiliated with a gang called Top 6. Burdi scored a great interview with a survivor named Paul Senat, who hid in a shed while the massacre took place.
The gunmen edged up, said, "We've got you now," and started blasting, Senat said. "They started shooting everybody," he said.
In the rapidly growing comments sections under Bennett's story, some are placing the blame solely on Haitian immigrants. Well, I investigated this problem in Deerfield Beach, which has also had its share of recent killings, and found that the growing conflict is between longstanding African American youths and (mostly) first-generation Haitian Americans who are battling it out in the underworld of the streets. There is no easy blame. In fact, one could argue that Haitian youths are simply becoming Americanized -- and that means worshipping the hip hop culture and idolizing guns and greed. The immigrants have also been subjected to second-class status in the black communities where they live for generations now. Whatever the case, it's a major problem, in both the social and criminal sense. A task force of cops who have congregated under the silly name "Operation Gangbusters" are out to find the killers and try to keep retaliatory gunfire to a minimum. That's fine. But there's a lot more to do, starting in the schools, where the solution to the conflict has been to quickly expel the boys (and some girls) -- sending them right onto the streets.