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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Friday ó April 16, 2004

News

Shootings
change Bellevue
residentsí views

ĎSome adults take things
teenagers do way too seriouslyí


"Itís part of a trend. People who didnít lock their cars or their doors are locking them now."

ó GLENN BRANEN, Glennís Grocery owner


By GREG MOORE
Express Staff Writer

On the block behind David Santistevanís house in Bellevue, two homeowners are putting up stout wooden walls around their yards. Itís not that they have anything specific to fear from the man accused of shooting two teenaged boys last month, they saidóitís just that the incident reminded them that their home could use a little more protection.

"This thing with the kids getting shot was a random event," said homeowner Frank Glahn. "Thereís still a good sense of community here, but itís a little different than it used to be. You used to know everybody in town was safe, and if they werenít, you knew who that was. Now, you just donít know who you can trust."

He points out that a neighboring rental house has had three different tenants in the past year. He has nothing against them, he saidóhe just doesnít know the residents.

Santistevan, 46, was bound over Tuesday for trial in 5th District Court in Hailey on two counts of attempted murder.

Santistevan is accused of shooting the two Bellevue teenagers during an argument in an alley following an earlier incident at an intersection involving an ATV the boys were riding. Marshall Hooten, 19, remains in critical condition at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. Tyrel Peak, 15, who was released from the hospital last week, testified at the preliminary hearing Tuesday, April 13.

Santistevan is being held in Blaine County Jail on a $1 million bond.

For a town of only 1,300 people, the March 29 shootings came uncomfortably soon after the shooting deaths last September of Alan and Diane Johnson, allegedly by their daughter, Sarah. Many Bellevue residents seem to share Glahnís viewóthat Bellevueís still a peaceful and safe little town to live in, but fast growth, combined with the recent incidents of violence, have made them a little wary.

"Itís part of a trend," said Glenn Branen, owner of Glennís Grocery, a long-time hub for local chit-chat. "People who didnít lock their cars or their doors are locking them now."

Glahnís wife, Barbara Glahn, said she isnít worried about her own safety, but she is concerned about that of her two teenaged children. She said she doesnít let them go out after 9 p.m.óan attitude she said she didnít have through most of the 35 years sheís lived in Bellevue. Part of the problem, she said, is the more evident drug use in town. She said sheíd like to see more police officers on the streets.

Branen said the most common attitude among patrons who discuss the recent shootings is disbelief that someone could have tried to kill two kids over a minor argument. On the other hand, he said, heís heard the opinion expressed that people no longer treat each other as respectfully as they used to, and that occasional violent reactions are an inevitable result. That lack of respect, he said, is seen as particularly common among teenagers.

Brenan said the shootings are viewed as inexcusable, but added, "Itís kind of felt that the kids did irritate him, pressed him to do that. Iíve heard people say, ĎWell, I sure hope the other kids around town learn something from that.í"

He said he was recently talking to the father of a teenager who told him many teens now believe they can get away with acting however they please, without fear of retribution.

"Kids feel that an adult canít touch them, and you canít," Brenan said.

Not surprisingly, a very different view was expressed by about eight teenaged boys skateboarding at the Hailey Skate Park. Most of them said they know Hooten. If the shooting incident offers any lessons, they said, itís that adults should learn to be more tolerant.

"Itís just messed up that something so small, like riding around on an ATV, could get someone so mad," said Ketchum resident Klint Matthews, 18. "Some adults take things teenagers do way too seriously. Itís not from everybody, but certain people just find stuff to be pissed off about."

The youths said problems develop mainly from adultsí reactions to their newly invented sports, which are often done in public places. Those include skateboarding, scooter riding and the newestófreestyle walking, which involves doing stunts with special slippery shoes. On Baldy, 15-year-old Martin Osgald said, incidents of rude behavior are often unjustly blamed on snowboarders.

"My teacher thinks all snowboarders are drug addicts," added Hailey resident Larry Olsen, 15.

An 18-year-old who declined to give his name said his first reaction to hearing about the shootings was, "Wow, this valleyís turning into a bunch of psychos." Still, he said, the Wood River Valley remains a more easygoing place than is Boise, where heís going to school.

One of Stantistevanís neighbors also said that despite the shootings, he believes Bellevueís a much safer place to live than most towns.

"I donít think Iíll move," he said.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.





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