When Hate Crimes and Cruise Ships Collide … 18 year old David Ritcheson Jumps from Cruise Ship After Past Pipe Attack


This is a truly terrible story and one where a cruise line would seemly have no David Ritchesonresponsibility in the death of 18 year old David Ritcheson, only that they were the vehicle that he ended his life on. It would appear that David Ritcheson took his own life jumping from a cruise ship. David Ritcheson was a past victim of a hate crime who actually just 3 months ago testified in front of Congress (Statement to Congress) about his beating and near death at the hand of hate mongers. Sadly for David Ritcheson the pain, anguish and torment of the incident must have been too much to bare. Although many of his friends stated that they were shocked at his death and that he seemed to be doing well. Unfortunately, I guess he was just hiding it well. The incident and the trials must have taken their toll. Another case of man’s in-humanity to man. God bless you David and may you rest in peace.

A Spring teen who survived a brutal beating with a pipe last year apparently jumped to his death from a Cozumel-bound cruise ship on Sunday. An 18-year-old was observed by “a bunch of people” jumping over the railing of the upper deck of Carnival Cruise Lines’ Ecstasy around 7:35 a.m. Sunday, said Coast Guard spokesman Adam Eggers. Carlos said that the family confirmed it, that it was true,” Dovalina said. “The family heard from the captain of the ship. He went overboard.”

The ship’s crew pulled the body from the water and he was pronounced dead at 9:10 a.m. The ship had departed Galveston on Saturday and was a “couple of hundred” miles out, Eggers said. Ritcheson’s death comes less than three months after he testified before Congress about how two teens nearly killed him on April 23, 2006 by repeatedly kicking a patio umbrella stand into his rectum while shouting “white power!” (Houston Chronicle)

Passengers recount teen’s leap from ship

The David Ritcheson case shows us just exactly how traumatising brutal attacks can be. The scars, both physical and mental, sometimes never go away. If not properly treated, individuals feel a hopelessness that they think they can never recover from. We can only hope and pray that David Ritcheson is at peace.

By appearances, Ritcheson was regaining control over his life following a brutal, racist assault in April 2006 that almost claimed it. Most of the surgeries required to repair extensive internal injuries had been done. He had stepped forward at the cost of public embarrassment to testify before Congress in support of expanded hate crimes legislation. He had returned to school, reconnected with his friends and started to live as a regular high school student, albeit one with significant scars, physical and emotional.

On the outside, friends said, Ritcheson appeared to be his same smiling self.

And if he was upset, said Jenny Bonilla, a friend and fellow student at Klein Collins High School, “he never showed it in any way.”

Trent said he last saw Ritcheson in January. He spoke with his parents in recent weeks and heard nothing discouraging.

“But every day, David had pain he lived with, and there were things he could no longer do as a result of his injuries,” Trent said. “And there were scars that were very disfiguring. All I know is, when you’re 18 years old, it’s very hard to see beyond tomorrow or even beyond today.”

Ritcheson had rebuffed all suggestions that he get psychological counseling and wouldn’t even talk to friends about it. Mental health experts say his avoidance of professional help is common for victims of trauma — and dangerous. (Houston Chronicle)


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  • Comments

    4 Responses to “When Hate Crimes and Cruise Ships Collide … 18 year old David Ritcheson Jumps from Cruise Ship After Past Pipe Attack”

    1. Richard on July 3rd, 2007 5:59 am

      There have been so many tragedies associated with cruise ships that the suicide-prone might be thinking that it’s “a way to go.” But some of the “suicides,” at least, appear to be crimes that are covered up. In the eyes of the cruise ship companies, it’s ALWAYS a “suicide.”

      At least one of this kid’s friends said he didn’t believe this story. The parents are supposed to have a press conference today.

      The level of hate in the world is just so incomprehensible.
      Apparently this kid made a drunken pass at someone’s sister at a party. (I remember doing that myself in college, though I don’t know if she was anyone’s sister, and someone offered to bash my teeth down my throat. Luckily, my friends were nearby and got me out of there.) And this outrageous behavior was the result?

      Animals don’t abuse each other like that (as far as I know), only the “master species” of people.

    2. Michelle R. on July 5th, 2007 11:19 am

      I believe the 2 people charged with beating and sodomizingof David Ritcheson should be held accountable for his death/suicide-
      How can someone inflict pain/torture to another human being?
      To all the “haters/racists”, you really hate yourselves, you’re full of insecurities and feel weak- God made this world to be our “paradise/heaven” -I don’t know what world you live in, cause where ever you go, the beautiful colors/ethnicities will always be around you- dig a hole in the ground and hide your head. My heart goes out to the Ritcheson family, David has been renewed,he suffers no more.

    3. Erika F on April 4th, 2008 10:36 am

      It’s been almost two years since David was assaulted. Not only have I gone to school with him since middle school, but I was also his neighbor. I often find myself thinking about David and the tragedy he endured. When ever news got out that he was first assaulted, no one could talk about anything else for weeks. It kind of felt like we were all just talking about some new gossip that everyone would soon forget about. But here I am, 2 years later, still thinking about him constantly, reading every article I can find about him and wishing something like this had never happened. This is definitely something that those of us who went to Klein Collins with David will never forget. I don’t know how many more times we can say that we lived in such a good area, and for something to happen like this never crossed our minds, but I will say it once more. You can’t raise your kids in much of a better place than Spring, and Klein Collins is one of the top rated schools in the state. How did this happen?

      Those of us in the same grade as David are finishing up our freshman year at college, and he should be here. He should be here with us enjoying this crazy, fresh, new experience. It’s still hard for me to comprehend he is not growing up with the rest of us anymore.

    4. Cruise Ship Injury Lawyer on November 24th, 2008 9:10 pm

      I heard about the case of David Ritcheson. It’s such as sad story. Racism is still real in America.

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