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Radio Free Montone: When Did Life Get So Cheap?

John Montone

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By John Montone, 1010 WINS

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – One man cheated death. Another man died without warning.

On Sunday night with their 2012 Range Rover full of Christmas gifts, Dustin and Jamie Friedland were about to leave the Short Hills mall. Two men approached Dustin who was not yet in the car. One of them shot him in the head.

The luxury SUV that compelled this conscienceless thug to kill a 30-year old man was found abandoned in Newark the next day.

People do get murdered. Often times the homicide is a crime of passion or some sort of dispute over money or drugs. I’ve covered more of them than I could ever remember or want to remember.

This one seems different.

Maybe it’s the time of year. Or the victim’s relative youth. His intelligence, perhaps. The unfulfilled potential. But I keep thinking of his young wife and his family and the pain they must feel. Dustin Friedland was here, among us, and now he is not and will never be again. For a car.

That was the price tag the killer put on another man’s life, the cost of a car or the cash he might make at a local chop shop. When did life get so cheap?

The next day 60-year old Cecil Williams — who is blind — and his guide dog, Orlando the black lab, were waiting for the A-train in Harlem. What followed was as 1010 WINS reporter Al Jones called it, “The miracle under 125th Street.”

Cecil Williams fainted while standing near the edge of the subway platform and collapsed onto the tracks at the worst possible time — the train was pulling into the station. People screamed at Williams and the engineer. The engineer pulled the emergency brake and the train stopped, but not in time. The first car ran over Williams and Orlando, who never left his master’s side. Somehow, hence “the miracle” — Williams and Orlando got down low enough between the tracks and survived.