The prince and the pauper

Back in October of 2002, there was a traffic accident in downtown Boston. A guy driving a BMW SUV (DWI) hit and killed a homeless man crossing a street. The driver, Saudi Prince Bader Al Saud, is currently serving a year in jail, and came to a $345,000 settlement with the man’s family.

Prince Bader is spending his time in a fairly cushy, minimum-security jail on Martha’s Vineyard. He reads, watches TV, plays cards with his fellow inmates, and attends mandated Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

But to him, it’s little better than Guantanamo Bay. You see, he’s a victim, too.

Orlando Ramos, 37 forever, might have been struck by two and a half tons of speeding steel, but Bader has also suffered. Ramos’ suffering was over fairly quickly; he died at the hospital shortly after the crash, but Bader has to live with the horrific memories of pounding down some Johnny Walker Black, getting into the SUV leased for him by the Saudi government, and tearing around the streets of Boston (where he was attending college, also on the Saudi’s dime) until this despicable, selfish homeless bum hurled himself in front of the Ultimate Driving Machine, messing up the front end, and starting a chain of events that resulted in Bader having to spend a year in jail.

On Martha’s Vineyard.

Watching TV, reading, playing cards, and attending AA meetings.

Poor Bader. Had this happened back in far more civilized Saudi Arabia, at worst he would have to pay the man’s family a token “blood penalty” for killing the indigent. At best, the guy’s family would have been billed for the damage to the prince’s SUV. But in savage, barbaric, unfair America, the prince is spending a year in jail.

On Martha’s Vineyard.

Watching TV, reading, playing cards, and attending AA meetings.

Oh, the humanity.

(Update: Sometimes I forget that not everyone outside the immediate region knows the full details of this story. Bader was 20 years old, drunk, and speeding on a city street when he hit and killed Mr. Ramos. I also believe he did not have a valid license, but I can’t confirm that. Further, when the police arrived on the scene, he initially refused a breathalyzer, claiming diplomatic immunity. So we have underage drinking, speeding, accident with a fatality, and refusing to cooperate with police. My apologies for not giving more of the story up front.)

Rep. Peter King: Charge the New York Times
Mystery Man


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