Las Vegas has endured a too-high homicide rate in recent years — comparable per capita to such troubled cities as Detroit. Still, such incidents seem far away for many of us who remain seemingly insulated from such violence.
However, an attack last summer, retold in an article last week, brings this city’s crime rate even closer to home. It’s a bleak reminder of how fast someone’s life can be changed by the violent actions of another.
On July 12, John Esquibel, 27, became the victim of an attack at Ninth Street and Baca Avenue near the Highlands University campus. Two men — who are still at-large — confronted Esquibel, his girlfriend and nephew with a knife demanding money, and when they said they had none, one of the men (who was being encouraged by the other), struck Esquibel in the face, causing him to fall backward and hit his head on the pavement. By the time police arrived, he was unconscious and bleeding from the back of his head and his ears.
He barely survived and he’s never been the same since it happened.
After two months in the hospital, he’s back home, but his speech is impaired, as is his hearing in one ear. He can’t see out of one eye anymore and his right hand has lost its strength.
“He’s very frustrated,” said his mother, Gloria Esquibel. “He’s angry.
Such is the result of virtually every act of violence. The impact isn’t just physical, it’s mental, even spiritual. And Esquibel’s anger isn’t just understandable, it’s justified.
Moreover, his mother worries that if his assailants aren’t caught soon, someone else may fall victim to their violent behavior. “I’m of the opinion that people like this don’t only do it one time. They’ve done it before. They’ll do it again.”
She may be right about that, so it’s imperative that the Las Vegas Police Department work with all deliberate speed to identify and capture Esquibel’s assailants. But investigators could use some help, which is why Crimestoppers is offering a reward to anyone who can help them solve the case. One of the suspects stands about 6 feet, 1 inch, and has a light brown complexion; the other stands about 5 feet, 4 inches and has a dark brown complexion with severe acne and a shaved eyebrow.
Anyone with information that might be useful should call 425-8884 or 425-7504.
We hope justice will be done on behalf of Esquibel and his family.
Nothing can reverse the aftermath of this needless attack, but having two less violent criminals off the streets is certainly a good step forward — for the community’s safety and the Esquibel family’s peace of mind.