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Boy crushed by gate his first time out alone (Illinois)
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | June 29, 2008 | Cheryl V. Jackson

Posted on 06/29/2008 6:56:17 PM PDT by Graybeard58

CABRINI-GREEN | Mom watches as gate crushes 3-year-old son

At 3 years old, Curtis Cooper thought himself invincible.

He'd fashion a towel into a cape, and called himself Super Curtis.

But mom Pamela Cooper knew he wasn't invincible. So despite her family ribbing her about being overprotective, she never let the boy play outside without her.

Until Friday, when she let her son ride his tricycle outside his Cabrini-Green row home alone, she said.

As the 22-year-old mother watched from a window, a gate weighing hundreds of pounds broke from its hinge, fell atop the boy and killed him, Cooper's family said.

"So much stuff happens [in the development] . . . ," Cooper said Saturday, her thoughts trailing off.

As officials tried a day later to piece together the chain of events leading to Friday's tragedy in the Near North Side public housing development, condolences streamed in from all corners.

Speaking at an unrelated event Saturday, Mayor Daley promised an investigation of the incident.

"I don't have all the facts," he said. "Accidents do take place, in and around construction, and we'll find out . . . what happened."

Chicago Housing Authority spokesman Derek Hill said the agency is sifting through accounts of how the gate came to crush little Curtis as he rode his trike in the back of the home in the 900 block of North Cambridge.

The property, currently under renovation, is managed by the clout-heavy Urban Property Advisors (UPA).

"[CHA's CEO] Lewis Jordan and the CHA give our deepest sympathy to the family," Hill said. "We're waiting for the results of the investigation."

The Cooper family has retained retired Circuit Court Judge Llwellyn L. Thapedi and her son Andre Thapedi to represent them.

One witness said Friday she heard a noise that she believed may have been the 7-foot-tall iron gate's hinge breaking, before it fell atop the toddler.

"He wasn't out there for five minutes," said his grandmother, Velma Wade. "We figured the back was safer than the front."

The gate was one of many placed on both sides of communal backyard areas shared by the row homes. On Friday, some were chained to their sideposts because the hinges were broken. A witness said the one that fell was not chained, but that the bottom hinge was not connected.

"The gate's been like that," Curtis' aunt, Lisa Springfield, said. "You can see the parts rusted."

On Friday, a UPA regional manager said all of the gates that were not sturdy would be removed. And Saturday, authorities were out taking some down.


TOPICS: Local News
KEYWORDS: cabrinigreen; chicago; corrruption; obama; publichousing; tragedy
LEFT: Velma Wade, grandmother of Curtis Cooper, weeps on the shoulder of State Rep. Kenneth Dunkin on Saturday. RIGHT: Workers removed a gate similar to the one that crushed Curtis on Friday.
1 posted on 06/29/2008 6:56:17 PM PDT by Graybeard58
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To: Graybeard58

That totally breaks my heart. Only a parent could understand that. What a tragedy.


2 posted on 06/29/2008 6:57:54 PM PDT by big'ol_freeper ("Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary use words". ~ St. Francis of Assisi)
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To: Graybeard58

Tough, prayers for the family.


3 posted on 06/29/2008 6:58:37 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Graybeard58

Sad. You can’t take your eyes off a 3 year old even for a little bit but it sounds as if this could have happened even if someone were watching him closely.


4 posted on 06/29/2008 6:58:47 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Happy b/ day to me & I wish me many more!)
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To: Graybeard58

I can’t wait for the asshat crew to get here and say how it’s someone’s negligence and the family deserved it and that having any sympathy from afar is fake and self serving.

We got some real beauties on this forum.


5 posted on 06/29/2008 7:01:54 PM PDT by wardaddy (these are dark days politically)
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To: wardaddy

Prayers for the family. I feel really bad for the family, mainly because it pretty much looks like a freak accident happenstance that is hard to prevent.


6 posted on 06/29/2008 7:06:07 PM PDT by Reagan79 (Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys)
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To: Graybeard58

No one should outlive their children. My parents grieved for years after my older brother died.

I grieve for this unfortunate family and their friends.

While Chicago and the state of Illinois continue to place their emphasis on disarming law-abiding citizens.

Cabrini-Green has been a death trap as long as it has been in existance.


7 posted on 06/29/2008 7:07:16 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (Fight Crime. Shoot Back.)
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To: Graybeard58

My heart breaks for this family....prayers up


8 posted on 06/29/2008 7:07:50 PM PDT by Kimmers
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To: Graybeard58
It sounds to me that Mayor Daley and the city have a lot of explaining to do followed by weaselly attempts to assuage the family with money that can never fill the void of a lost child. Then it will be back to the same ole same ole.
9 posted on 06/29/2008 7:12:35 PM PDT by fella ("...He that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough." Pv.28:19')
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To: fella

God Bless them all.
Everyone called my little one, “the Boy in the Bubble”, he was very sickly as a child.
Never take your eyes off of your kid!


10 posted on 06/29/2008 7:20:50 PM PDT by acapesket
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To: acapesket
Never take your eyes off of your kid!

Even as careful as a parent can be an unforeseen tragedy could strike. I pray to God that He will comfort this poor mother and not let her blame herself.

11 posted on 06/29/2008 7:31:45 PM PDT by AndyTheBear (Disastrous social experimentation is the opiate of elitist snobs.)
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To: Graybeard58

Man that is so sad.

CABRINI-GREEN, I think that was the area back in the early 70’s cops would not even drive into there it was so bad.


12 posted on 06/29/2008 7:33:18 PM PDT by valkyry1
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To: Graybeard58

How terrible. This was obviously a very loving and careful mother, and it sounds as though Super Curtis was an adorable, and adored, little boy. I guess it won’t comfort the suffering mother to know that Curtis is waiting for her in heaven and there is nothing she could have done to prevent this—even if she were standing next to him, the poor child would have died.

You wonder sometimes why God allows this sort of thing.


13 posted on 06/29/2008 7:47:47 PM PDT by ottbmare
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To: Graybeard58

What a horrible tragedy. How sad. How very sad. The mother was protecting her little one then decided to let him ride his bike out back and THIS happens? Wow, Beyond words. Prayers for the family who lost this precious little angel.


14 posted on 06/29/2008 7:56:45 PM PDT by cubreporter
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To: Graybeard58

Oh, that poor mother. My heart and prayers go out to her. That just breaks the heart.


15 posted on 06/29/2008 8:27:18 PM PDT by swatbuznik
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To: wardaddy
I can’t wait for the asshat crew to get here and say how it’s someone’s negligence and the family deserved it and that having any sympathy from afar is fake and self serving

Me neither. The cold-heartedness of some on this forum is breathtaking.
16 posted on 06/29/2008 8:30:43 PM PDT by reagan_fanatic (This tagline is completely naked - STOP STARING!)
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To: wardaddy

The family nor the child deserved this.

Housing authority negligence in deferred maintenance, if any, is a different issue altogether.


17 posted on 06/29/2008 8:33:06 PM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: Graybeard58

That is so sad. Not sure if mom being out there would have prevented anything. When we would watch the kids (ended up putting up a nice bench and planted some flowers out by the street) we were watchful of cars and strangers. But I don’t think a gate would have been on the list of things to look out for.

However, we did have a mailbox stand with 5 boxes that was rotted out and wobbly right where the kids played - and where we tied up the dog. I’m sure it would have been quite a while by the time the post office, or the city, or whoever came to fix it. I fixed it one Saturday.

The one down the street layed in the sidewalk for two weeks after it came down in a snowstorm. I imagine everyone at that end figured “it’s not MY problem”. Government sponsored things tend to motivate that attitude. And legally - it probably wasn’t their problem. Just like this gate wasn’t the grieving mom’s problem. (Heck, maybe I could even be fined for “Tampering with Federal Property” by fixing our multi-box stand!)

All of that said, I can’t imagine the horror for this family. I hope that the mom doesn’t end up blaming herself for this, I really don’t think she could have prevented this tragedy at that moment.


18 posted on 06/29/2008 8:46:26 PM PDT by 21twelve (Don't wish for peace. Pray for Victory.)
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To: 21twelve

Not sure about your mail box situation but when my moron grand son ran over mine, I had to replace it. Dead of winter, forget about a post hole digger in that frozen ground, rented an augur and bought the mail box, post and concrete to place it in.

My mail man was nice about it, he brought my mail to the door for a few days until I replaced it. We’ve had the same mail man for 16 years and we are on a first name basis. It helps too that we always get him a Christmas present.


19 posted on 06/29/2008 8:57:28 PM PDT by Graybeard58
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To: Graybeard58

The odds are just unbelievable. Even if she were right there a gate weighing that much would have probably got her too.


20 posted on 06/29/2008 9:30:18 PM PDT by Free Vulcan (No prisoners. No mercy. Fight back or STFU!!!)
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To: Graybeard58

Prayers for this family- oh my how very, very sad.

My youngest daughter at three climbed a metal fence panel that was supposed to be wired solid- but wasn’t. The panel fell with her and broke her leg. I know we dodged a bullet with that, too bad this couldn’t have been one of those near misses so many children have while growing up.


21 posted on 06/29/2008 9:42:44 PM PDT by Tammy8 (Please Support and pray for our Troops, as they serve us every day.)
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To: wardaddy

20 posts and all have been sympathetic. I don’t know what you’re talking about.


22 posted on 06/29/2008 11:08:34 PM PDT by Hildy
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To: acapesket
Never take your eyes off of your kid!

She didn't. She saw it happen. How do you protect your child every second of his life?

23 posted on 06/30/2008 5:18:46 AM PDT by raybbr (You think it's bad now - wait till the anchor babies start to vote!)
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To: Graybeard58

Oh how sad, prayers for the poor family. I can only imagine how guilty the mother feels, even though she must know logically that she couldn’t have kept a gate that heavy from falling even if she was standing right there.


24 posted on 06/30/2008 6:31:44 AM PDT by CatherinePPP
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To: wardaddy
I can’t wait for the asshat crew to get here...

Well, O.K. then. You seem a pleasant sort.

25 posted on 06/30/2008 8:54:24 AM PDT by laotzu
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To: Hildy
20 posts and all have been sympathetic. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Here let me enlighten you dear, peruse this thread from yesterday about the 7 year old black kid getting decapitated at Six Flags and tell me what you think:

Start Here with Post 7

26 posted on 06/30/2008 9:11:21 AM PDT by wardaddy (these are dark days politically)
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To: wardaddy

Yea. Those posts were not cool but this story is much different.


27 posted on 06/30/2008 9:43:07 AM PDT by Hildy
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To: Graybeard58

Heartbreaking. As the father of three, I just can’t imagine it.

Are these housing developments the ones that Rezko / Obama were associated with?


28 posted on 06/30/2008 9:45:23 AM PDT by Terabitten (Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets - E-Frat '94. Unity and Pride!)
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To: wardaddy

There is a saying about not borrowing trouble- why don’t you wait for the “asshats” to show up before you post their views for them on a thread?


29 posted on 06/30/2008 9:56:58 AM PDT by Tammy8 (Please Support and pray for our Troops, as they serve us every day.)
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To: Hildy

Sure it’s different but you can bet sooner or later someone will claim they shouldn’t have let the toddler out of reach basically.

But the issue on the other thread is that public displays of sympathy for someone you don’t know is fake and self indulgent as are prayers.

Or that folks who screw up and get killed don’t deserve sympathy.

Nuts.

I’ve never met folks like that in my life....have you?


30 posted on 06/30/2008 9:58:44 AM PDT by wardaddy (these are dark days politically)
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To: Tammy8
There is a saying about not borrowing trouble-

lol...that one sure carries a lot of weight in FReeperdom...we're all such pussycats

31 posted on 06/30/2008 10:00:27 AM PDT by wardaddy (these are dark days politically)
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To: laotzu

yes, I’m just a big huggie bear


32 posted on 06/30/2008 10:02:09 AM PDT by wardaddy (these are dark days politically)
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To: wardaddy
Here let me enlighten you dear, peruse this thread from yesterday about the 7 year old black kid getting decapitated at Six Flags and tell me what you think:

Not to condone the posts on that thread, but the kid at Six Flags was 17, not 7. There is no comparison to the two. One was a freak accident, which was to a 3 year-old, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The other case was a 17 year-old who should have known better. Both are tragedies, yes, but two different things.

33 posted on 06/30/2008 10:04:36 AM PDT by dfwgator ( This tag blank until football season.)
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To: dfwgator
yes...I have already stated they were different but both involve negligence and bad judgment...one on behalf of the deceased and the other on behalf of the child's guardians and the Cabrini Green maintenance folks

there are folks here...not a majority who think no sympathy is warranted unless the death is purely innocent with no bad judgment or negligence involved, and there are those who feel large cash settlements will miraculously fix it all and then the most obtuse crowd which feels public sympathy like public prayer for someone you don't know is fake and indulgent.

Now...I know you've been here a long time and don't cotton to that but there is an ugliness here that I reckon is just human nature to some and it shows up on Darwin Death threads mostly and I don't think it reflects well.

And I believe that most people with kids who feel this vulnerability are less likely to be so callous, but that's just a hunch. I'm sure there are plenty of sympathetic childless freepers.

;>)

34 posted on 06/30/2008 10:32:02 AM PDT by wardaddy (these are dark days politically)
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To: Terabitten; Graybeard58
Are these housing developments the ones that Rezko / Obama were associated with?

Son of a Sea Cook- look what I just found at Atlas...

CORRUPTION ERUPTION: OBAMA'S BABY KILLING HOUSING POLICY

CORRUPTION ERUPTION! Obama makes Clinton's bimbo eruptions look positively scarce. He is the quintessential fixer -- right at home in Tammany. America wants change? Be careful what you wish for. It would take decades to recover from this statist.

The Blood Money of Barack Obama’s Money Men No Quarter hat tip deb

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usA little boy is dead because Barack’s key fundraisers cared more about profit than a safe environment for children. While his mother watched him to be sure he was safe, Curtis Cooper, a three-year-old boy riding his tricycle, was crushed to death by a heavy iron fence that suddenly fell over on top of him at a housing project run by Obama contributor Cullen Davis — whose family received huge government subsidies as well as a $1,000,000 grant for the properties from the Woods Fund’s board, whose members included Barack Obama and unrepentant terrorist William Ayers.

CBS2 Chicago also reports:

Curtis’ aunt Lisa Springfield said, “It just crushed him all up, his whole face.”

According to witnesses, five or six men rushed to the boy to try to pry the heavy fence off of him. An hour later he was pronounced dead at Children’s Memorial Hospital.

Cullen Davis, the son of Obama’s first boss and major benefactor Allison Davis, is a beneficiary of Obama’s prominent effort to privatize the management of public housing in Chicago. As Un coup de des wrote here yesterday in “Boston Globe Exposé, Part I: Introducing Cecil Butler, Obama’s West Side Slumlord Patron,” the privatization of this housing — while highly profitable for investors like Cullen Davis, Allison Davis, and the now-convicted Tony Rezko — has left residents with chronic plumbing failures that led to sewage throughout units and backing up into kitchen sinks, “collapsed roofs and fire damage,” rampant rodent infestation, vacant units, and the displacement of thousands of low-income residents because the buildings are either uninhabitable or have been destroyed in order to “gentrify” neighborhoods.

Furious neighbors reacted last night, reports the Chicago Tribune:

A 3-year-old boy was crushed to death Friday evening by a large, rusted steel gate at the Cabrini-Green housing complex, prompting a crowd to gather and hurl accusations of mismanagement at property managers.

“How many accidents happen over here because of failed inspections,” screamed Willie J.R. Fleming, a resident and a director with the Coalition to Protect Public Housing. “There’s no accountability, there’s no oversight of this.”

Barack Obama and Mayor Daley backed the privatization schemes and personally interceded to ensure that THEIR cronies made money off the privatization. Here’s how DEEPLY INVOLVED Barack Obama is in these schemes that contributed to little Curtis Cooper’s death, via the Boston Globe’s “Grim proving ground for Obama’s housing policy“:

  • “As a state senator, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee coauthored an Illinois law creating a new pool of tax credits for developers.”
  • “As a US senator, he pressed for increased federal subsidies.”
  • “And as a presidential candidate, he has campaigned on a promise to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that could give developers an estimated $500 million a year.”

An outrageous example of the privatization profiteers is Tony Rezko. Reports the Boston Globe’s superb investigative report (a must-read in full):

UPDATE ON CORRUPTION POST: CORRUPTION ERUPTION: OBAMA's VENAL HOUSING POLICY 

Continue reading "CORRUPTION ERUPTION: OBAMA'S BABY KILLING HOUSING POLICY" »


35 posted on 06/30/2008 12:01:06 PM PDT by backhoe (Just an old keyboard cowboy, ridin' the Trakball in to the Sunset...)
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To: ottbmare

A very loving and careful mother wouldn’t be raising her child in Cabrini Green!!!


36 posted on 06/30/2008 12:11:45 PM PDT by proudpapa (McCain-Pawlenty '08)
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To: Tammy8
There is a saying about not borrowing trouble- why don’t you wait for the “asshats” to show up before you post their views for them on a thread?

As a previously labeled "asshat," I am able to see this as a tragic and unfortunate event. I offer my condolences for this boy and his family. May God comfort and care for them as they mourn the loss of little Curtis.

37 posted on 06/30/2008 1:57:45 PM PDT by ConservaTexan (February 6, 1911)
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To: backhoe
Obama Derangement Syndrome. You have it.
38 posted on 06/30/2008 2:09:32 PM PDT by Fundamentally Fair (When all you have is a kitty, every problem looks like a troll.)
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To: Fundamentally Fair; backhoe

Bumping those links for a later read. In spite of the possibility of Backhoe’s ODS, those articles look interesting. And the situation very clearly shows the consequences when government (or a government entity that is “privatized”) is in charge rather than the people themselves. I shudder at the thought of Cabrini-Green Healthcare.


39 posted on 06/30/2008 2:20:10 PM PDT by 21twelve (Don't wish for peace. Pray for Victory.)
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To: Graybeard58

Prayers for the family.


40 posted on 06/30/2008 2:32:31 PM PDT by Earthdweller
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To: ButThreeLeftsDo

I guess I am about to earn my “asshat” label . . .

Now that Mayor Daley has heard about this, I am waiting for his Gates legislation to be passed:

* Must apply for a Gate Owner’s ID card.
* Limit of 1 Gate a month.
* 10 day “Cooling off” waiting period on all new Gate purchases.
* NO “Straw Purchases” of Gates
* Must pass a background check to purchase a Gate.
* Total ban on Gates smaller than 30 inches.
* Gates must not be concealed
* NO “automatic” opening / closing Gates allowed unless a LEO
* None of these apply to Judges, Chicago Aldermen, or to anyone in the Daley clan

After all, it’s for the Children!

***crickets***


41 posted on 06/30/2008 2:36:37 PM PDT by Petruchio (Democrats are like Slinkies... Not good for anything, but it's fun pushing them down the stairs.)
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To: proudpapa

I don’t understand, what is Cabrini Green? It sounds pretty.


42 posted on 06/30/2008 8:51:56 PM PDT by ottbmare
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To: ottbmare

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabrini-Green

In the past, firefighters and ambulance drivers have refused to go into CG w/o police escort.


43 posted on 07/01/2008 9:37:49 AM PDT by proudpapa (McCain-Pawlenty '08)
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To: wardaddy

Wardaddy, I usually agree with you but I think this situation is a bit different. The boy yesterday was a young man of 17. He climbed over two 6’ fences into a restricted area. The little three year old kid wasn’t doing that.

Good to see you here by the way.


44 posted on 07/01/2008 9:45:26 AM PDT by ladyjane
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