What’s With All the Gawkers in St. Cloud?
Last night there was a robbery and hostage situation at the Wells Fargo bank in St. Cloud. Police specifically asked people to avoid the area, but according to some reports "hundreds" of people gathered in the Costco parking lot to check it out for themselves.
I don't get it. This is a potentially tragic situation with a bunch of people in the bank fearing for their lives and you want to make it a spectator sport? What are you hoping to see when you pull up a chair across the street anyway?
When I was a kid my dad hurt his back and we had to call an ambulance to bring him to the hospital. Within two minutes of the emergency vehicles arriving, two dozen people had lined the street, taken a seat and began watching my dad's low point from an up-close spot.
My wife was a reporter before switching roles at our company and was assigned to cover the plane that had crashed in Sauk Rapids a few years ago. Two people had died in the crash and the house that it struck was on fire. A tragedy all around.
I was shocked when I saw cars full of teens (and plenty of adults) fill the neighborhood with chairs and coolers, looking for a spot on the sidewalk like they were gearing up for a parade.
When the mall stabbing happened at Crossroads in 2016, the same thing happened. My wife shows up to cover it and was immediately approached by some guy in bare feet holding a beer in a can coozie asking what happened. It was like a block party.
Maybe I just don't get it... enlighten me... what is so fun about something tragic happening in the community?