EDITORIAL: Just a little girl

York Dispatch

She's just a little girl.

That's something the 40 people on Lafayette Street in York City on the afternoon of Aug. 8 need to think about.

She's a 3-year-old who was playing in Penn Park, waiting to go to a birthday party, when she started to cross the street in the middle of the block.

She didn't make it across. A westbound gold- or champagne-colored Hyundai or Honda struck her, threw her into the air and under a parked car, then took off, according to York City Police Officer Nicholas Hansel.

The girl was flown to Hershey Medical Center with critical injuries, where she was still being treated on Thursday.

There were probably 40 people standing on the street watching, Hansel said.

But they're not talking.

We understand when people are scared to talk to the police about criminal activity in their neighborhoods.

"Snitches get stitches" is an old saying, but it still holds true. It's hard to find witnesses willing to testify in plenty of cases in the city, and there are plenty of cases we've heard about where those who do testify find themselves the victims of more violence.

But there comes a point when a person needs to do the right thing and step up.

This is that point.

"When I got to the scene, there were probably 40 people standing on the sidewalk," Hansel said. "They all just kind of stood by and watched. ... They just gawked."

Surely one of those people recognized the car or the driver. It's not a major thoroughfare, not the kind of street someone driving through the city would be on. And people who are outside their homes on a Saturday afternoon generally know about the traffic in their own neighborhood.

Hansel has asked anyone with information to call or text him at (717) 324-6604.

For anyone who has information and hasn't called, well, we hope you call and clear your conscience.

If you can't speak out to help an innocent little girl, you should hope no one ever has to do it to help you.