There is indeed some good news of citizens acting responsibly amid all this tragedy and mayhem. Among them are parents doing what good parents do: making their children face up to the severity of their actions. Here’s one remarkable instance.
This past Saturday, a 20-year-old man named Brian J. Bartels flamed a peaceful protest into violence in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by smashing the window of a police vehicle, and in an obscenity-laced rant, encouraged others to do the same.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported this from the official police complaint:
A black woman “stepped in front of Bartels and pleaded for him to stop, he gave her the finger and then jumped on the car hood and stomped the windshield (breaking it further).”
Other citizens tried to stop him as well, but many in the crowd quickly joined him in the violence, ultimately demolishing the police SUV and setting it ablaze. It burned to a shell.
The police obtained a photo of Bartels from social media and released it to the public. A co-worker recognized him and called the police. Sunday, police went to and searched his home. No one was home.
Monday Brian Bartels went to the Pittsburgh police station and turned himself in. But he wasn’t alone. His mother and father brought him to the police station. You can see it here.
#BREAKING 20 year Brian Bartels just turned himself in at police headquarters. He is facing numerous charges in relation to Saturday’s protests. @KDKA pic.twitter.com/zCBiaZwCtd— Nicole Ford (@NicoleFordTV) June 1, 2020
Good for his parents. For ushering him to the police station to face up to the wrong he had done. That is what good parents do. First, they protect their children the best they can, even in very difficult times, even when they have done great wrong. They stand by them.
But, just as importantly, they also call their children to face up to the full consequences of their actions. This is true when they are five years old and lie about stealing a cookie. It’s true when they do much worse. It is true even when it means national embarrassment for them and their child. But this mother and father did the right thing and they did it together, dad leading the way up the sidewalk and mom walking with her son. Put yourself in their place. They were incredibly brave to do so. This video should go viral as a hopeful example that there are indeed still good, involved parents in the world who will do what needs doing regardless of how difficult. Bless them.
It was later reported the young man set up a Go Fund Me account for a lawyer. He only raised $10 before it was promptly taken down, hopefully at the direction of his parents telling him he was going to have to carry his own weight on this one. When the police searched Bartels’ home, they found the black hoodie he was wearing in the riot on top of his mother’s washing machine.
The full story on Bartel’s surrender with his parents can be seen in this news report by KDKA, the local Pittsburgh CBS affiliate.
Screenshot from KDKA