The Drunk Asshole Who Killed Bob Clark and His Son Gets Off Easy

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/10/73965905_595d9b4de5-thumb.jpgBack in April, scumbag Hector Manuel Velazquez-Nava slammed his SUV into a car on Pacific Coast Highway while intoxicated, killing film director Robert Clark (A Christmas Story, Porky’s), 67, of Pacific Palisades and his son, Ariel Hanrath-Clark, 22, of Santa Monica.

According to KCAL 9, Velazquez-Nava was driving a GMC Yukon on PCH between Sunset Boulevard and Temescal Canyon Road about 2:20 a.m. when he drifted into oncoming traffic and struck Clark’s 1997 Infiniti Q30. Valazquez-Nava’s BAC was at .24 – three times the normal limit.

Velazquez-Numbnuts plead no contest to manslaughter charges, and last Friday was sentenced to six measly years behind bars.

I have no rant or lengthy indictment of the spineless judge presiding over the case (coughcoughHectorMGuzmancoughcough). I can only state my beliefs are that if you drink, you drive, and you end up killing two people, then you should be buried underneath a mountain somewhere.

Photo by Barbour. Used under Creative Commons.

13 Replies to “The Drunk Asshole Who Killed Bob Clark and His Son Gets Off Easy”

  1. I in no way think drinking and driving is ok, but I have to question the American mindset that every crime must be punished with the eye for an eye kind of retribution that involves the penal system.

    Death is bad. Death of someone who created one of my favorite films of all time the Christmas Story, even worse if there is some kind of hierarchy in regards to killing, but to me I don’t know if jail time is always the best way to cure societies ills.

    If you murder people on purpose, yes I understand jail time, but to me drunk driving and death in California points to there is something wrong with our system.

    I don’t know anyone who went spent the ages from 18-25 in LA who hasn’t driven drunk at least once, we simply were lucky enough to not kill anyone, but that is all it is luck.

    Driving drunk in LA is very, very, very common and since it is I think the state needs to do more than just adding more and more creative punishments.

    Everything in LA is too spread out. There are lots of bars and lots of places serve alcohol.

    Putting people in jail isn’t working.

    What needs to happen is possibly a much more organized car service, a good bus system, more bars closer to people’s homes, the rails running later…something needs to be done, but jail to me is not always the best punishment. It may make people feel better in the American “you got yours” kind of a way, but it doesn’t solve the problem.

    Velazquez-Nava is 24, he has no priors, he was here illegally (but the US since WW2 has been inviting people south of the US border to come work here, see the Bracero program, so I use the term illegal extremely loosely,) but that doesn’t show a pattern of violent crime or anything. Six years is a long time to spend in jail, if you’re not a real bad guy.

    Should he get life? Should a guy who is 24 with no priors (from what I read) be serving the same amount of time as Charles Manson, a person who has priors that include violent acts? What would be fair for a guy with no priors who makes a mistake.

    Browne

  2. Browne, you’re blaming the fact that people drive drunk on the lack of public transportation? Lame.

    But I agree we can’t put people away for life on drunk driving charges.

    But we need to do is revoke licenses for anyone caught drunk driving THE FIRST TIME – maybe for a year. Permanently the second time.

    At the same time, bringing up the whole illegal immigrant part of this seems completely irrelevent. I came from a small town with a graduating class of about 100. Within ten years five classmates – 5% – were killed in alcohol related accidents. Yet another was sent to prison for two years for killing someone in an accident while he was driving intoxicated. Everyone of these people were born and raised in the US.

    The problem is every asshole – including my friends – who let friends who are drunk actually drive and laugh it off.

  3. I had to laugh cutter. The buried under the mountain made people think you are pro-death penalty. Amazing the baggage people have and readily jump on tangents.

    Of course tangents associated with strong veers from the the main topic are my favorite. I try to initiate whenever possible.

  4. Mountain Burial as a Drunk Driving deterrent may seem like a good idea, and I applaud you for thinking outside of the box, but the reality is that the logistics and cost are not worth the net gain.

    While the idea of several large mountains simultaneously warning of the consequences of driving under the influence, and serving as a memorial for those who have passed away is attractive, frankly, where are we going to put all of them? There’s not only the aesthetics to consider, and every NIMBY in town will be against these, but the traffic tie ups while they are being put up and the sheer cost of burying people under mountains, really, what part of the budget should that come out of?

    And who is going to do the burying? Just to keep the costs down it will probably end up involving illegal workers from over the border, who will then likely get drunk and kill people, requiring them to be buried under mountains, and do we really want illegal immigrants being buried under mountains intended for our own hard working American Drunk Drivers? I ask you, DO WE?

    The whole thing makes my head hurt. I think I need a drink…where are my keys?

  5. No I’m not blaming the state for this incident in particular what I’m asking is this:

    Do we want to punish people or do we want to make this a place where people don’t die from drunk driving.

    We can do the third world cutting off your hand thing if you want, but is it working?

    Does the don’t do drugs, don’t drink and drive, don’t have sex pr campaigns work?

    From what I have read they don’t.

    So are you all saying you’ve never driven tipsy, ever. If so you’re all better people than me. I have driven drunk. I have driven tipsy.

    Now if we want to have a moral debate then yeah driving drunk is wrong, but if we took the morality out of it and we took emotion out of it and we’re trying to solve the problem what can we do to stop drunk driving in California or Los Angeles?

    Better late night public transit and car services OR more jail time.

    I for one want the solution that will actually solve the problem, not the solution that will make my id feel better.

    I don’t want my gov’t run like the school playground. I pay taxes and I expect a certain level of thought process and not you hit me I hit you back.

    Yeah in your personal life someone does you wrong you smack them, but if you’re the gov’t you have a responsibility to actually think and solve the problem without involving the judeo-christian morality of this right or wrong kind of thing.

    If you personally knew this guy Cutter, I’m sorry for your loss, but if you did know him you should probably say that, because I’m just talking from a this is how we solve the problem angle not so much this is a person’s father, friend or etc…who dies…if this is the case sorry, seriously.

    Browne

  6. “And who is going to do the burying? Just to keep the costs down it will probably end up involving illegal workers from over the border, who will then likely get drunk and kill people, requiring them to be buried under mountains, and do we really want illegal immigrants being buried under mountains intended for our own hard working American Drunk Drivers? I ask you, DO WE?” Robnoxious

    Yeah that’s pretty much it right there. This incident has way more to do with this particular 24 year old guy being illegal and killing someone of note than it has to do with him driving drunk and killing someone.

    People drive drunk all the time and kill people all the time and no one cares. No outrage, no nothing. A little Latino girl got killed in Paramount three or four months ago, didn’t see any blogs from the people who find the drunk driving thing such a horrible, horrible, heinous crime.

    His status in regards to citizenship has nothing to do with the crime.

    This has nothing to do with Cutter’s comments, but just me looking up the case the first thing they say is “He was illegal,” what does not having papers have to do with driving drunk? It’s a paperwork crime like having a lapsed license or no registration or paying your taxes late when you owe twenty bucks.

    It is completely irrelevant, but it keeps getting stated and that’s why this event remains in the press, oh and he made the mistake of killing a rich guy.

    If he had killed another person who was here illegally, no one would have blogged about it. I think that is what makes me kind chuckle at all of this “He should be under the jail in a mountain tarred with feathers possibly lynched, I can see how that happened in the south ‘these’ people need to be taught you must respect the laws and ways of this country….” You know whatever…I’m sorry I went there, but when I hear people talking about “illegals” archaic forms of extreme punishments I can’t help but draw parallels to the the United States circa 1950s, the South, Jim Crow, slavery and all that kind of stuff.

    What do you guys think? Think old boy Velaquez-Nava should be lynched? Maybe after he gets out of jail all of y’all can get together and go to his house and show him some dixie justice.

    Would that make you happy or I’m sorry put under the mountain.

    That doesn’t even sound kind of the same does it?

    It’s not right to call someone an “illegal,” that to me is akin to calling someone the n-word (I would have wrote out the n word, but I don’t know if this site will let me do that…)

    And seriously you guys if you looked up the Bracero Program you would see that the US gov’t has been inviting people to this country for decades years, not granting those people citizenship, not granting them rights and created the environment we have now.

    If the US had been decent and granted people under the Bracero Program citizenship instead of having a double standard (people who were immigrants from other countries and invited to work here were given citizenship, so why not Latinos, what’s the difference?) if the US had been decent they would have granted people from Mexico and other countries south of the US border dual citizenship, since it was so close to the United States, but no they didn’t do that.

    Because of that the US created an environment that people viewed the US as simply a place to make money rather than a home. Had the US been decent this country would be completely different.

    What needs to happen now in regards to people who are here is that they need to be granted citizenship and rights, because if not rich Americans who own businesses will continue to exploit them and bring down everyone’s quality of life.

    If you don’t agree with immigration in the US that’s fine. I respect your opinion, but many people who are angry about immigration are angry for reasons that are not people who are here “illegally” fault.

    People who are here “illegally” aren’t paying themselves substandard wages AMERICANS are doing that. People who are here “illegally” aren’t cutting welfare to humans while giving corporations big tax breaks even though the people in this country aren’t benefiting AMERICANS are doing that.

    Americans lives are hard because of other RICH AMERICANS who don’t want to pay and always try to find a way to not pay people, to cut benefit and to rip people off any time the get the opportunity.

    There is always going to be a person who will work for less, but the people who have the money need to be regulated to not pay the least they can get away with and that should apply inside and OUTSIDE the United States.

    America seems to be unable to run it’s economy without depending on some kind of slave labor, remember who was doing the work for substandard wages before…seems to be a pattern of not wanting to pay people…possibly we should look at people writing the checks instead of the people cashing them.

    The easy target who lives next door is never the reason your life is hard.

    Browne

  7. I’m not sure under what terms he was here illegally, but he should be punished a lot more than six years behind bars, which will be reduced anyway.

    .24 is RIDICULOUS, that’s almost blacked out driving. Browne says, “I don’t know anyone who went spent the ages from 18-25 in LA who hasn’t driven drunk at least once.” That is WAY more than having a drink and driving (which I’m not condoning either).

  8. “.24 is RIDICULOUS, that’s almost blacked out driving.” Matt

    That points to possibly a drinking problem, maybe he would be better served in a treatment facility. He plead guilty. And maybe he’s really big.

    How can you drive a car if you’re almost blacked out, did he even know he was driving…though I do remember being in Vegas once driving about twenty mph as an 18 year old in a rented car, I thought driving very slow would help since I couldn’t see…I should be dead.

    I saw a guy coming out of the Drawing Room and watched him take 20 minutes to get his keys in his car door insane….I timed it. I was bored.

    I really think a person in LA should develop a car service that frequents bars. They would make a killing.

    I always, always take a cab at night now. It’s no more expensive than valet parking, unless you’re drunk and forget where you live and then it can get kind of pricey.

    Browne

  9. I don’t have a problem with the drunk driving per se. I just have a problem with drunk driving killing other people.

  10. This string is amazing to read.

    The argument we all have driven drunk kinda takes us no where. Yup we’ve all done some dumb ass shit and that is near the top. Luckily for most we didn’t hurt anyone in the process. I wonder how much mercy any of us never caught would cry for if we were the unlucky one to have the accident with a fatality? In the end some sit here smugly passing judgement wanting more done.

    The putting them in treatement is an interesting thought, but unless the drunk wants to quit it won’t work.

    I really agree we need stiffer penalties. But what?

    Care to know how many accidents I’ve had with drivers with no license because it was taken away for excessive drunk driving? All we accomplish when we take a drunk, or anyones license away forever is a driver who can’t get insurance and therefore drives with out. No one wins.

    Putting away for life get’s us no where either. The cost to house and provide the basics and health care is astronomical. Certainly prison resources need to be put to better use.

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