Our View: May justice be swift for those who struck couple

June 3, 2013 

  • How to help

    The families have set up an account at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union for people who want to help Philemonoff and Merculief. The acccount, in Philemonoff’s name, is No. 1767747

Catch them

May the couple swiftly heal; may the cowards face justice

What do you do with a person so wretched he would deliberately run over a man and a woman with a car?

The first thing you want to do is catch him and his accomplice.

Two men in a red sedan were driving on International Airport Road when they accosted April Merculief and her boyfriend, Nicholas Philemonoff, as they walked across a nearby parking lot. According to Philemonoff's sister, Maria, the men yelled sexual insults at Merculief.

The two stopped their car and got out. They traded words with the young couple, got back into their car and drove it into and over the young couple. Merculief was hit and dragged by the car. She suffered multiple severe injuries. Philemonoff escaped with a seriously broken leg.

The suspects -- we'll stop calling them men -- sped off.

What does a community do in the face of such callous inhumanity?

First, send your best wishes and prayers to the couple, and especially to Merculief, who remains in critical condition. People in their families can expect our community to rally to them. One antidote to such poisonous hate and violence is the love of family and friends and the generosity of strangers.

We take heart in word that police may already have found the car involved in the assault. That's a step toward tracking them down. And we're confident that police will do just that.

To anyone who knows the identity of the perpetrators of this evil, we say now is the time to point a finger and let justice be done. These two belong in a very small cage for a very long time.

To the reader who asked, "Is Anchorage getting meaner," we reply: We've seen random, horrific violence before, and we will again. As a community, we can't completely avoid the dark side of human nature. So the best and only response is for each of us to do what we can to make Anchorage just a little bit kinder -- and a place where those who do such violence can be assured that they will get their due, sooner or later.

BOTTOM LINE: Swift healing to the couple; swift justice for those who struck them.

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