A GOOD SAMARITAN GETS BURNED

crime When Jonathan jockusch saw the two young men beating a street person, he didn’t think twice about jumping into the fray, “One was literally taking running kicks at him,” says Jockusch, who was downtown waiting for a bus that April night after leaving his volunteer post at the Parkland AIDS Clinic.

The two men laughed as they slugged the victim, a derelict in his 50s. “I told them to stop and turned to look for help,” Jockusch says. That’s when one of the attackers smashed Jockusch in the head. Bleeding, with several teeth missing, Jockusch was soon on his way back to Parkland, this time in an ambulance.

Insurance covered a portion of the $1,400 medical and dental bill, but Jockusch was left with $600 in out-of-pocket expenses for his good Samaritan deed. So he decided to take advantage of the Crime Victims Compensation Division, part of the state-funded Industrial Accident Board. Designed to help pay the medical expenses of those injured by criminals, the program is promoted as a unique Texas service. Jockusch filled out the five-page form, detailing the crime and expenses. He later received a letter refusing payment because “the victim’s behavior contributed to or provoked the incident.” Furious, Jockusch wrote another letter and called numerous times. He was finally told that he could have a hearing, but the division had a backlog of many months.

Eventually, Jockusch got a response saying the CVCD had changed its mind; they would pay his expenses. He had to send in more forms. “They told me it would be many months before I got anything,” Jockusch says. Almost a year later, he is still waiting for a check.

The program administrators never explained how Jockusch had “provoked” the incident, and CVCD officials in Austin did not return D’s calls. “Maybe they were embarrassed,” Jockusch says, because the attack on the street person took place in front of the new downtown police storefront. “I never saw a policeman until I was in the ambulance.”

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