Richmond Rape Case: 911 Caller Was Another Teenage Girl

[Trigger warning. Background on case here; follow-ups here and here.]

Via CNN, I find that the 911 caller who finally alerted police about the recent gang rape of a 15-year-old girl was another teenage girl, Margarita Vargas, who wasn't even there but heard about the rape from people talking about it around her neighborhood.

There are some triggery and/or generally objectionable things about this video—I strongly doubt that the young men watching the rape were "silent" and not egging each other on; I really don't like a card to the survivor being read at all, no less the one they chose, which implies that being a victim and a strong survivor are mutually exclusive identities (excuse me, but I was victimized by a person and survived the event)—but it's worth watching/reading for Vargas, who is (unfortunately) extraordinary.

And isn't it interesting that no mention is made of Vargas' gender. She's just "another teenager with a conscience," as if it's incidental that the one teenager about whom we've heard in this mess who identified with the basic humanity of the survivor is also female.

[Transcript below.]
Reporter Dan Simon, in voiceover: Richmond police say 10 or more people watched a young woman be raped and stood silent, reaching for their phones to take pictures, not to call 911. That call would come from someone who wasn't even there. 911 Operator on Audio Recording: 911, where's your emergency? Margarita Vargas on Audio Recording: Hi, um, it's in Richmond High School. Vargas, in news footage: I'm proud of myself. I feel, like, I know that I did the right thing. Simon, in voiceover: This is 18-year-old Margarita Vargas, who says she made that call after word had spread through the neighborhood that a girl had been raped on Richmond High's campus and was still there, motionless on the ground. 911 Operator on Audio Recording: Is she on the school property? Vargas on Audio Recording: Yeah, she's, like, in, in, in the back, though—she's back by the dumpsters. Vargas, in news footage: I was thinking to myself, I'm like, she probably would've been there the whole night, you know, until somebody wake up and see her there. Simon, in voiceover: Vargas says she can't believe that no one else apparently had the instinct to call. They were scared, she thinks, of being labeled a snitch. Vargas, in news footage: In Richmond, they, they either get killed; they get—something bad happens to them, you know, like they say: "Snitches get stitches." That's like the little phrase that they use, I hear. But, you know, I don't really consider me snitching. [edit; walking down the street with Simon] She was probably there for awhile; that's what I heard. Simon, in voiceover: When Vargas got to the scene that night to have a look, she says police were already there and the victim was on a stretcher being placed into an ambulance. Vargas, in news footage: I don't think she was wearing clothes, 'cause they wrapped her up very tight in a, in a, in a white [clears throat] blanket. Simon, sitting amidst cards and gifts for victim: This case has really touched a nerve across the country, so much so that the Richmond Police Department has received a significant amount of mail addressed to the victim; here is a card that reads, in part, "I pray that this event will not destroy you or your faith, that you will not be a victim, but a strong survivor. Simon, in voiceover: That the victim survived may not have even been possible had it not been for another teenager with a conscience. Dan Simon, CNN—Richmond, California.

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