Yellow Elephant Fears Water-Balloons [Seriously!]
This is not a snark. According to the Hillsdale campus newspaper, Anthony Mantova of the 'Leadership' Institute actually called police when he was water-ballooned. Seriously.
Outside Simpson Hall on Tuesday night, September 12, 2002, Anthony Mantova looked up from his drenched shorts to see a car speeding away down the road. He had been waterballooned.
“I looked up, and they hit the gas,” Mantova said. “It was a real shock.”
Mantova and Dan Himebaugh were walking to the side doors of their dorm when three or four teenage boys pulled up to the sidewalk in a small gray car and threw a waterballon at Mantova, he said. The balloon struck him on the hip, drenching his shorts.Mantova said he was surprised but not angry. “Their laughter was very clear,” Mantova said. “I wasn’t mad, though. At least it wasn’t a rock.”
He said he was afraid the balloon was filled with beer or bleach. He hurried to his room for a shower, though the substance turned out to be only water. Mantova and Himebaugh then reported the incident to house director Sharon Wiley, but there was no investigation because they could not identify either the young men or the car.
Concerned the balloon might be connected with the earlier, more violent incident where students were accosted and assaulted by young men in a car, Mantova and Himebaugh said they expressed concern the young men would attack again. While there proved to be no connection to the earlier events, two nights later another waterballoon attack occurred. Six young males were seen by Hillsdale campus security in a van in front of Mauck Hall throwing water balloons at students passing in front of the dorm. The balloons missed the students.
Security followed the van to the Jonesville Wal-Mart where they detained the teenagers until the Jonesville Police arrived. “We got their license plate number, and we had them blocked in,” said Gary Hite, assistant director of security. “They knew they’d been had, and they were scared—big time.” Not as scared as Anthony Mantova, apparently.
The Jonesville Police responded to phone calls from Hillsdale College security and took over the situation. “I confronted the van load of kids, and they admitted to throwing the balloons,” Jonesville Police Officer Chris Rosser said. “I gave them a stern warning about this kind of activity and made them get rid of the rest of the balloons.” No charges were pressed and the juveniles were released into the custody their parents.
This conservative Christian school is well known among real Americans for its integrity - NOT! In 2000, its President, George Roche III, shocked [but did not surprise] the school by divorcing his wife of 44 years, who had cancer, and remarrying five months later. He also had a long-term affair with his daughter-in-law, Lissa Roche, who committed suicide. You can read all the sordid details here. At least President Roche had the decency to resign and deserves credit for that decision. In his resignation letter, he acknowledged, "We have proved that integrity, values and courage can still triumph in a corrupt world. Hillsdale College is a monument to those beliefs."
I guess that Anthony Mantova learned Hillsdale's lessons about "integrity, values, courage" and personal responsibility a little too well. But I haven't given up on him yet. I still think that military service might help him to find his strength. Starting with a fear of water balloons, he can only go up.
Labels: Anthony Mantova