Law Severed Finger

Love Gone Too Far

Boyfriend Mails Severed Finger

By Daniel Muniz

In Corpus Christi Texas, a woman had been harassed by an ex-boyfriend. Although the boyfriend had moved out of the city to Spring Texas he still tried to maintain some sort of contact with his ex which resulted in a family violence incident that the police were called to investigate.

However, his last correspondence to his ex-girlfriend resulted in Class A misdemeanor.

He apparently chopped off his finger and mailed it to her. He also wrote a letter that stated:

This is my last chance to touch you.

For the time being, the police are unsure which finger the boyfriend cut off or how he did it. They just know that it was a clean slice and that it was also washed before it was mailed.

This woman immediately requested help from the courts in the form of an emergency protective order. In addition, the police are trying to locate the ex-boyfriend before the situation escalates any further or gets completely out of hand. This man also faces additional charges of terroristic threats because of the letter.

But overall, this incident is scary.

It is disturbing because it vividly demonstrates that there are people who are either very confused or simply out of control. These individuals do not recognize the limits of acceptable behavior. Instead they operate on their own parameters regardless if it involves breaking the laws or going beyond the realm of human decency.

It is also alarming because it shows how helpless an individual is when there is a deranged but determined person who wants to harass and intimidate. Yes, the police can help but they can only take full control of the situation if they can confront this bully right before he harms this woman.

Fortunately, stalking and harassment laws have greatly improved in Texas as well as for a number of other states. This man can be prosecuted and punished. However, since he really hasn’t done anything directly to her except for mailing a severed finger and writing a threatening letter, there are limitations to the extent of his punishment.

Even so, being prosecuted and treating his threat as a crime is still far better than just getting a slap on the wrist.

The real problem arises from two issues.

The first issue is what this man will do before he is detained by police or even what he can do when he bonds out of jail. The current charges are not severe enough to keep him locked until the trial date. And the protective order is really meaningless if he decides to ignore it.

The second issue is what this man will do after he serves his sentence provided that he even gets one. He is going to angle for probation especially if he agrees to obtain treatment and perhaps undergo anger management classes. It is very possible that he is going to get locked up but there are also plenty of ways for him to get out of jail early since he has not yet done any violent bodily harm to anyone.

But suppose that jail is not even in the cards. Suppose he gets a lawyer who puts him through a psychiatric evaluation. This man may not serve any hard time at all. And mental institutions are notorious for allowing patients to escape. They are not designed or maintained the same way a prison is.

This guy is nuts and that in itself may be enough to prevent him from getting any real jail time.

Unfortunately, there are tens of thousands of people across the country that fear for their lives in situations similar to this. I don’t want to bash law enforcement or the court system because their role is really limited until something bad happens. Sadly, that for too many people, after something bad does happen, it is already too late.

As a result, if the hands of the police and the legal system are tied, then the only person that can really help is him or herself and perhaps immediate family members. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If your personal life is threatened, then you have ever right to defend yourself and that includes being armed for such an event.

That is an ugly reality, but if worst comes to worst, is there really any other choice?

I agree that all initial precautions must be fully utilized such as changing personal identifying information (like using initials instead of a first name), getting a private mailbox, changing phone numbers, moving to a different part of a city, and limiting contact to most people to conceal a personal identity. Such things have to be done if you got a nut who wants to find you. Regrettably, some people don’t do much in enhancing their privacy so it becomes rather easy for a stalker to locate them.

However, if a deranged person is determined enough, then he merely has to employ the techniques of a bill collector or a skip tracer to find someone even if he or she moved to another state.

Assistance from law enforcement and from the legal system ought to be utilized to the fullest extent possible. However, when it comes right down to it, you are your most important safety manager. Yes, in the event of an emergency, the police will show up if they are called but they have to be called first. And even then, it still takes time for law enforcement to arrive.

As a result, the notion of being able to protect yourself ought to be seriously considered because you are also your first line of defense.