May 25, 2006

Poisoned by (not so Il)legals

Via the Raleigh, NC, News and Observer:

Sixty or more schoolchildren might have been exposed to mercury in a series of incidents that led Wednesday to the closing of a Durham elementary school and the evacuation of a church and seven homes.

Oak Grove Elementary School on Wake Forest Road was closed early Wednesday, a day after four students brought unknown quantities of the hazardous substance there. A Durham man who police think gave them the mercury was arrested Wednesday.


State and county officials on Wednesday pieced together a sequence of events that they say they think began Friday night when Carlos Guerra, 21, who works for an air-conditioning company, went to an East Ramseur Street church and gave an unknown amount of mercury to four youngsters.

Garner police charged Guerra, of 311 LaSalle St., No. 3001H, with stealing the mercury from a Garner job site Friday.

"I don't think he knew what he was dealing with," said Lt. Don Paschall of the Durham County Sheriff's Office, which is investigating. "He was referring to it as 'magic water.' "

Health officials say Guerra gave the mercury in cups to four children at Iglesias De Restauracion, a storefront church east of downtown. On Tuesday, the officials say, the four children brought the mercury to school, wiped it on others and sprayed it from spray bottles on three school buses and in at least one classroom.

This is the story currently being reported by the media, but that may not be the entire story.

There are questions about the citizenship status of Guerra, as well as some of his victims. I have attempted to contact the Durham County Sheriff's Department and three reporters at local news organizations for comment, and hope to have confirmation of his status later this afternoon.

Roughly 65 percent of North Carolina's Latino population —more than 300,000—are illegal immigrants.

Update: I just got confirmation that Guerra is here legally.

He's just an idiot.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 25, 2006 10:19 AM | TrackBack

"He was referring to it as 'magic water'..."

I've got some 'magic' uranium beans, too. What idiots. The clean up of that magic water is going to be huge. Mercury isn't fun to clean when it's been spread about like they did it. My guess, 50K--unless you have a specialist company in the area.

Posted by: WB at May 25, 2006 10:50 AM

They're overreacting, we played with mercury all the time when I was a kid, shining up dimes and quarters and wrecking gold rings.

It was fun and didn't harm me. As you can see I'm writing comments on sites like Conf.....


Posted by: Lonetown at May 25, 2006 08:28 PM

Getting ahead of the news cycle, eh? You think you'd have the integrity to change the title of the piece if not all together get remove it after you found out it the poisoner was legal. One has to wonder the blogger's intent when nothing from the article you have produced says his legal status was in question.

Maybe that's the real reason all illegals are here in this country to poison our children and the whole "we'll do jobs Americans won't do" is a cover...Way to spread the FUD...

Posted by: matt a at May 26, 2006 07:28 AM

I'd forgotten about the title, and yes, it does bear revision. The young man in question was proven legal, but early indications initially suggested otherwise.

As for "getting out in front of the news cycle," I think that is just B.S. I was clearly wrong, and that "getting out in front" line is for people who are simply dishonest, who made a mistake and who won't admit to it.

I screwed up here, no doubt about it.

As for the "illegals are hear to poison our kids" argument, it wasn't my intention. I wrotie this post with the idea in my head that so many illegals are uneducated, and that this wouldn't have happened with a legal immigrant because they are more likely to have had more education.

Obviously, I was wrong. This guy was legal, and still was apparently still so uneducated that he did not know what murcery is, or that it is highly toxic.

Now I find that I'm apprehensive about the "quality" of our legal aliens as well as our illegal ones.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at May 26, 2006 07:42 AM