Friday, January 14, 2005
City of Brotherly Love finds meanness in Syracuse
"AIN'T NO ANGEL GONNA GREET ME; IT'S JUST YOU AND I MY FRIEND" *
Army Spc. Elwood Wrigley visited family in New Jersey for the holidays and went to a Philadelphia Eagles game before he was scheduled to return to Afghanistan. When he lost his digital camera full of family memories at the stadium, NBC 10 News in Philadelphia put out a call for help.
When Michael Crook, of Syracuse, offered to return the camera -- for $1,000 -- Philadelphia was outraged. ...
"I don't really do things out of kindness," Crook told the TV station. "It's a business world and I know it seems harsh but, you know, it is all about the money."
According to the TV station, Crook said he was from south Jersey and was with friends at the Eagles-Bengals game Jan. 2 when he found the camera.
Bloggers and message boards lit up.
"What goes around, comes around dirtball," stickin damud wrote at RightNation.US. "Especially now that everyone knows who you are. Business decision? Let's see how much freakin business you do NOW!"
"Michael Crook is such a complete and total ... Words have not been invented yet to describe what a complete and total what Michael Crook is," wrote GOP Pagan.
"Hope this does not reflect badly on all those nice charming friendly lovable Philadelphia Eagles football fans," wrote Terribly Swift Sword.
Regulars at Free Republic were rounding up a posse until ElkGroveDan warned: "The Michael Crook in Lumberton is NOT the perp. I just talked with Michael Crook in Lumberton and he was totally unaware of this."
Crook canceled an interview with WIXT in Syracuse for "legal reasons," but he set up a message board at michaelcrook.com for the angry mob. He shot back at those who wanted to torch him.
''Apparently, some people are under the (mistaken) impression that ‘I’ work at a day care center in Lindenwold, New Jersey.
''Now .... if I live in Syracuse, New York .... how can I possibly work six hours away? That's ten hours of commute time, nine hours of work, and six or so hours of personal time, which includes eating and sleeping. The theory just doesn't wash.
''If there is a Michael Crook working at a day care center there....it's the wrong one, and people are harrassing an innocent Crook.
''Of course, Philly people aren't exactly known for their intelligence, so this really doesn't surprise me.''
"As a fellow Syracusan, I'm dismayed by your lack of decency," Barkley wrote. "It shouldn't be a question of money * but you know what they say * what goes around comes around * we'll all be waiting."
"Son, you have done wrong," Farmer John wrote. "Likely by now you have a good idea of how wrong * or at least as everyone else views the situation. It is a easy one to get out of though. Put down your defenses and then do the right thing."
Crook has written letters to The Post-Standard, including one in April: "It's time to get old people off the roads so that young people can actually live."
He e-mailed photos to the Philadelphia TV station in an attempt to prove he had the camera. When a reporter there showed the photos to Wrigley, they weren't from the soldier's camera.
This week a couple sitting a row below Wrigley at the game remembered seeing a person near them pick up a camera from the floor. The couple contacted the TV station, which reported the seat number to the team, which contacted the ticket holders, and Wrigley got his camera back.
Crook says he has has received more than 95,000 "hits" at his Web site this month.
From San Diego, Florence Rodgers wrote to The Post-Standard: "Let the people there know what a low life the creep is. He's not a good example for Syracuse."
Crook has set up another site: citizensagainstthetroops.org - Syracuse, NY, "exposing the evils of our armed forces and veterans."
Be warned... This site was replaced with an apology for "a practical joke that spun out of control," and then replaced by a white supremacist page...
When Wrigley got his camera back, he discovered all his family photos had been erased and replaced with pictures of Lincoln Financial Field.