Teaching Caution With Compassion

Most of us include compassion in the life lessons we try to teach our children. It is unfortunate that we must temper that teaching with a good dose of self-defense.

We were reminded of that this week, when two Dillonvale teenagers were victimized because they tried to help someone out.

The girls, 14 and 17, were driving through Dillonvale last Sunday when they spotted two people hitchhiking. They offered the man and woman a ride.

In Martins Ferry, the man allegedly held a gun to the teen driver’s head, forced her to pull over, stole several items and put the two girls into the car’s trunk.

Later, by using an emergency release button inside the trunk, the girls got out and summoned police. Not long afterward, police apprehended the two adults and found a gun.

Especially during the cold winter months and during inclement weather, the temptation to pick up hitchhikers is great. The two Dillonvale girls learned a harsh lesson about that.

“Don’t ever, ever, ever pick up a hitchhiker,” Martins Ferry Police Chief John McFarland warned, in discussing the case.

“Never,” he added.

Add that, then, to the already long list of “don’ts” you teach your children and grandchildren.