Monday, July 02, 2007
Broken Hearted Nikki
My heart is broken. As many of you are aware, I followed and reported on this story. I said a lot of prayers for David and admired his courage. Unfortunately, he met with a very sad ending.
The aftermath of hate is often much harder than dealing with the event as it happens. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to David's family and friends and we can only hope that the pain is over for David.
TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Skinhead victim jumps to death from cruise ship
An 18-year-old who fell to his death from a cruise ship yesterday had reportedly been struggling after being identified as the victim of an horrific racial attack by skinheads.
David Ritcheson is believed to have jumped from the cruise liner Ecstasy yesterday afternoon, with the ship's staff retrieving his dead body from the Gulf of Mexico about 30 minutes later.
The rescue was handled entirely by ship staff, the US Coast Guard said.
Mr Ritcheson had to undergo more than 30 operations after been stripped naked, burnt with cigarettes and repeatedly attacked by two skinheads in April last year.
His attackers, one of whom received a life sentence while the other got a 90-year sentence, sexually assaulted Mr Ritcheson with a PVC pipe, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Although Carnival Cruise Lines, who own the ship that was sailing on a five-day round-trip to Cozumel, Mexico, would not confirm his identity, a spokesman for The League of United Latin American Citizens, Rick Dovalina, told the Chronicle that the family's lawyer confirmed the death.
"The family heard from the captain of the ship. He went overboard," Mr Dovalina said.
In an interview in April, Mr Ritcheson said he was struggling with being identified as the victim of the skinhead attack .
"It's like everyone knows I'm 'the kid.' I don't want to be a standout because of what happened," he said.
Mr Ritcheson testified in the US Congress in June, supporting a hate crimes bill.
He told the House Judiciary Committee that his attackers had stripped him naked before burning him with cigarettes, and beating him as they yelled anti-Hispanic slurs.
Posted by Nikki at 7/02/2007 03:53:00 PM