My name is Steve Nantz. I am the father of one of the young men accused of beating David Warner, Josh. He is the only WSU student among the three.
Josh adamantly denies even touching David Warner. After viewing software-enhanced versions of the video evidence against him, it is clear that he is telling the truth. In the enhanced video, reviewed by a Microsoft employee, Lawrence McDonald falls and takes Warner with him. No one hit Warner. He fell.
It was a terrible tragedy, but it was caused by, if anyone, McDonald. This will come out, hopefully sooner and not later. There was no beating. There was no assault. There was an altercation caused by McDonald, who threw the first punch and then fell. Warner, trying to stop McDonald, fell with him.
There are witnesses who were standing right there and saw it this way. But we haven't read about them, have we?
And yet everyone thinks Josh is guilty, along with his friends, who were only defending themselves from McDonald and had no reason to touch Warner at all. This was presented as a brutal beating, a vicious, racially-motivated assault. The possibility that it was a tragic accident was never broached.
This only creates another tragedy, one of persecution of innocent people. My son's name and excellent reputation as a great person were damaged to an irreparable degree.
If it comes to a trial, which we hope and pray it will not for everyone's sake, it will be well-nigh impossible to find an impartial jury. Everyone has been impacted by the media, which Abigail Student astutely points out in her column, “Media turns fair juries into a myth.”
Human beings love stories. A story with a villain is more compelling than a tragic accident.
Furthermore, as a former journalist myself, I know the old adage “never let the facts get in the way of a good story.” Never was that more true than in this case.
Thanks for a great opinion piece. It was thoughtful, cogent and well-written.