Sunday, April 15, 2012

Helping the Police

The man pictured above, Ron Psenka, 46, recently helped the police apprehend an individual who sexually assaulted and attempted to rob a woman. This past Saturday, in the early hours of the morning, Psenka was awakened by the sounds of a woman being assaulted in an Alley outside of his home on the north side of Chicago. After telling his wife to call 9-1-1, he grabbed a shovel and ran out the back door.

The woman, 21, was walking home listening to her ipod, when a cabby, Admon Shasho, 27, saw her, parked his cab, and followed her down the alley she had just turned down. He grabbed her from behind and told her not to scream or he would kill her. Shasho then tried to take her purse and cell phone. She began to scream as he pulled her to the ground and started to sexually assault her. Those screams woke Psenka. When Shashmo saw Psenka, he got up and ran. Psenka, in his bare feet, chased Shashmo almost four blocks before he flagged down a marked police SUV. At one point Psenka was 10 feet away from the offender and told him to lie on the ground. Shashmo tried to ward him off with a stick he had picked up, before starting to run away again.

Police caught Shashmo, thanks to the help of Psenka, who had done this sort of thing once before, when he was in college. The victim later thanked Psenka and his wife for helping her and responding her screams for help. Shashmo was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault and attempted robbery. Psenka said, "The poor woman was being assaulted in the alley and needed my help. That was my goal"

The world needs more people like Psenka. He defied the bystander effect, the effect that takes place when no one helps and assumes someone else will. People need to take action when they hear someone in trouble. Unfortunately, many people may have just closed their window, or try to ignore the screams. Thankfully, Psenka and his wife were kind enough to help the victim.

Part of me would like to think that emphasizing the importance of helping others in need in the classroom would encourage more people to act bravely like Psenka. However, I think the reality of the situation is, even if there was a whole class, assembly, or lecture dedicated to the importance of taking action, the same individuals who would be likely to help would, regardless of whether or not they learned about it in school. In other words, I believe that those prone to not help, still would not help others even if they attended an assembly on the topic.

Fortunately, Psenka is not alone in his desire to apprehend criminals. Marcus Dennis, a tow truck driver, was driving by and heard yelling and a man running away. He made a u-turn, parked his truck, and tackled the man to the ground. He later found out the man was trying to abduct a little girl. He held the man down until police arrived some time later. Below is a youtube video of Dennis helping the police.



  1. I agree with you Laura! People need to quit assuming that other people are going to handle the situation. I don't know how people can ignore screaming and just turn their cheek and shut the windows. People rely on others way too much. Our society needs to step up and be a hero because you could easily save somebody's life. Good blog!

  2. I like to hear stories like this because it proves that there are still good people out there willing to help. The police can't be everywhere all the time and with more help from the public we can make this nation safer.

  3. Very interesting story! I'm very glad to hear that there are still people in this world willing to help other people in need. It is so sad to think that there are less people in this world willing to help other people. I know that if I saw someone being a victim I would try with all my power to help them!

  4. I agree that if more people were willing to step forward and help like both men did in their own cases that we would have less random acts of violence against people. If criminals knew that other people were willing to stand up for each other then they would think twice before jumping one another in the streets.