Skip to comments.'Mother's pride' is laid to rest (in Philly - black gang beats a white to death - Obama silent)
Posted on 04/02/2008 7:23:32 AM PDT by 2banana
'Mother's pride' is laid to rest By DAFNEY TALES & DAVID GAMBACORTA Philadelphia Daily News
LONG AFTER the final hymn had been sung and the last rose had been laid across her son's bronze casket, Sharon Conroy sat in her quiet home in Lansdowne trying to make sense of it all.
Her mind drifted through a steady stream of tender memories of her son, Sean Patrick Conroy.
She could see him as an eager, grinning Cub Scout, then as the kid who went to dinner and a movie with her every Friday night until it seemed uncool at age 15.
She remembered his spontaneous move to California after high school to become an animator for Disney, then his return to the Philadelphia area, where he matured into his "mother's pride," working as a mentor in North Philly and helping out with charities.
He found a job that he loved, running a Center City Starbucks, fell in love with the woman of his dreams and, at age 36, planned on a full and happy life. "This was the gentle man I was lucky enough to call my son," Sharon Conroy said.
Then it all fell apart on an underground SEPTA platform in Center City last Wednesday afternoon, when four teens inexplicably attacked Conroy's son, kicking and punching him until he had a fatal asthma attack, police said.
Police arrested Kinta Stanton, 16, a 10th-grader at Simon Gratz High School, and charged him as an adult with murder. Stanton has refused to identify the other youths, who also attend Simon Gratz and remain on the loose, a police source said.
Last night, people who answered the door at Stanton's home on Smedley Street near Griscom told a reporter that they didn't know him.
The fatal attack, which investigators said had been unprovoked, has incensed citizens across the city, from everyday SEPTA riders to Conroy's friends and relatives.
They wonder why no one has turned in the other teens, or what could have prompted them in the first place to attack an innocent guy who was known for his gentle, easygoing nature.
Through it all, Sharon Conroy said she remains calm in this tumultuous sea of anger and pain.
"It's not to say that I'm not angry," she said yesterday, hours after her son was buried at Ss. Peter and Paul Cemetery, in Marple Township. "But my son was a gentle person and would have wanted us to get all the facts."
Conroy said nearly 200 teary-eyed mourners packed St. Cyril's Church, in Lansdowne, for her son's funeral, and the funeral procession included 170 cars.
Starbucks employees were among the attendees, including Mike Rose, a district manager, who talked about Conroy as helpful and compassionate.
Old friends from his Cub Scout days showed up, and a former employer from California sent a two-page euology about how "gentle and polite" Sean Patrick Conroy was.
On Easter Sunday, Conroy became engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Stevany Johar. Yesterday, Johar released a statement through Sharon Conroy, which read in part:
"I still cannot accept his death in so many ways. Everything reminds me of him. Part of me still believes that he will come home, give me a kiss and also a hug like he always did."
In the week since Conroy's death, SEPTA's subway lines have been flooded with more than two dozen members of the Guardian Angels, the civilian watchdog group that was founded in 1979 in response to violence on New York's subway system.
"SEPTA riders are terrified," said Curtis Sliwa, founder and president of the organization. "These kids come on like a tsunami onto trains and trolleys and start acting wild."
The Guardian Angels will patrol the Broad Street line and the Market-Frankford El Monday through Friday, from 1 to 5 p.m., to address commuters' fears. *
Daily News staff writers Mensah Dean and Kirstin Lindermayer contributed to this report.
Some LTTE and Reader Comments:
The subway attack on Sean Patrick Conroy (Inquirer, March 29) brought back some disturbing memories. In 1986, my brother and I were on the Broad Street line heading to LaSalle University. We were viciously attacked - for amusement - by 10 students. Unlike Conroy, we were able to fight back and hold some of the perpetrators until the police arrived. I suffered a broken nose and lacerations.
Many things in the stories are similar: black males attacking white victims, the SEPTA police doing a fantastic job, and the perpetrators' lives being ruined.
And, once again, the family and educational structures have failed, so the criminal justice system must provide relief. What a shame.
Joe Truitt Ambler
What would the reaction to the beating death of Sean Patrick Conroy have been if he were black and the five youths were white? Would there be an automatic assumption that the motive was race-related? I don't know the answer, but if we are to continue to debate race issues as Obama makes his march toward the presidency, this type of tough question must be asked.
Robert Watterson, Philadelphia
I take issue with the characterization of the attack on Mr. Conroy as "random." Mr. Conroy was probably singled out because he was white.
To conclude, without evidence, that this attack was perpetrated "for no reason" is to dismiss the possibility of this being a racial hate crime. Why do we presume that white people can only be perpetrators of racial hate crimes, and not also their victims?
Ross Chapman, Philadelphia
It is amazing how several black youths jumped a white male, and it is not a hate crime. If it were white teens who jumped a black male, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would have been on the first plane to Killadelphia.
I think these punks should be tried as adults when caught, and also seek the death penalty. But I'm sure they will get off because they come from a broken home.
Diane L. Veteri
When Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama used the thoughtless term "typical white person," was he referring in general to a decent man like Sean Conroy?
I assume that the senator, local politicians, members of the media and black community leaders will not utter as nonchalantly as Obama spoke of a Caucasian stereotype the term "typical young black person" to describe this cowardly group of criminals.
John Leonard, Philadelphia
I'm outraged that this is called a random attack. If the victim were a black male attacked by white teens, it would be viewed as a racial attack. My thoughts and prayers go out to this young man's fiancée and his family.
Maybe someone with enough courage will come out and start noticing that there is a such thing as reverse discrimination.
Joann Vance, Williamstown, N.J.
I assume Barack Obama's grandmother was a Philadelphia subway rider. He says she's "a typical white person," scared when she sees black people on the street. After hearing about the murder of Sean Patrick Conroy and how he was attacked for fun, I have to ask where Obama gets his intelligence.
Joseph Messina, Philadelphia
Give me fifteen minutes of private time with Kinta Stanton and a household appliance of my choice.
I'll have those IDs in a jiffy.
Disgusting... using transit in Philadelphia is more dangerous than using transit in Baltimore.
This murder was clearly taken out of context.
But how DARE
a “typical white person”
look at a group of black youths with caution, fear, or suspicion.
Well...he learned one thing in his community anyway.
Not only is Obama silent, the national media isn’t making much of a fuss either.
Just another typical whitey...
When are black people going stop murdering people?
BAN ME IF YOU WANT TO! SOMEONE HAS TO SAY IT!
“What would the reaction to the beating death of Sean Patrick Conroy have been if he were black and the five youths were white? Would there be an automatic assumption that the motive was race-related? I don’t know the answer, but if we are to continue to debate race issues as Obama makes his march toward the presidency, this type of tough question must be asked. “
Robert Watterson, Philadelphia
Hey Robert, I think you know the answer to your own question.
In defense of these poor Utes, they probably just finished watching a Reverend Wright sermon and felt the uncontrollable urge to go out and stomp whitey to death.
Prayers for Conroy’s loved ones.
Proposed headline: “Typical White Person Murdered by Typical Blacks”
The advance of racism is obvious. I believe it will get worse if Obama wins or loses. The stage is set.
It IS time to stop pussyfooting around this issue.
The Wright affair has opened my eyes to the hatred that exists, mostly one way.
The thing is, it’s not PC, and considered racist, to call evil evil when it is perpetrated by a victim class.
“Give me fifteen minutes of private time with Kinta Stanton and a household appliance of my choice.”
And, the O.J.-esque “black community” will conceal the identies of the other perps. You can bet they know who they are, but they want to protect them from “the man.”
Does SEPTA have special rules banning concealed weapons? How 'bout Philly generally?
There is a solution to this problem ... it involves a few dead thugs.
Thanks you and Amen!
Reporters don’t even give descriptions of killers on the loose, we’re so PC anymore.