Should This Tipster In The Philly Child Abduction Story Get The Reward Money He Was Promised?

19 Comments
April 5, 2013 ‐ By Charing Ball

Nelson and Nailla

Well there are lots of things that snitches are said to get, but it would seem that “riches” is not one of them.

From the Philadelphia Daily News:

…Nelson Mandela Myers, answered the prayers of an entire city when he found a 5-year-old girl who had been abducted from her West Philadelphia school the preceding day. Nelson wrapped his coat around the child, whom he found shivering in an Upper Darby park, and stayed with her until police arrived. He was hailed as a hero and was promised a $10,000 reward from the city. “Mayor @Michael_Nutter, full $10,000 reward to Nelson Mandela Myers, who saw [the girl] in an Upper Darby park and did the right thing,” Mark McDonald, Nutter’s spokesman, Tweeted that day. Janie Myers thought her prayers had been answered, too. “Twenty-four hours before that I was crying and praying to God,” she said. “Honestly, that $10,000 was literally a blessing that fell out of the sky for us.”Nearly three months later, Nelson and Janie Myers have yet to see a penny of the reward money, and the young couple say their calls and emails to city officials have gone unanswered. “We’re up to our necks in bills,” Nelson said. “It’s a blessing that they’re giving me the money, but I just really can’t explain why we haven’t gotten it yet.”

Na’illa Robinson’s case made national headlines when she was abducted by a woman wearing a full face niqab from the Bryant Elementary School in West Philadelphia. Myers, who was on his way to work, found the five-year-old girl, half-dressed, hiding underneath playground equipment (it would be later reported that Robinson had been held captive and sexually assaulted before escaping to the playground). Nelson promptly called the police and it was his tip, which helped to reunite Robinson with her distraught family.

This is not the first time in recent months reports have surfaced about the complications, which sometimes arises around the payout of reward money. Just last year, the Daily News reported on the story of a deceased Kensington man, who was murdered in the streets before he could fully collect on the reward money he was promised in exchange for his tip, which lead to the capture of a serial murderer known locally as the Kensington Strangler. The tipster’s family said that since the city and local crime commission had already promised him the loot once the strangler was convicted, the unpaid $30,000 should be given to his next of kin, which is his 23-month-old son. However, the city has been dodging their calls and the local crime organization is saying nope, sorry, the reward is not “ hereditary.

And multiple city and law enforcement agencies in California are still trying to determine if they should pay out the more than a million dollars in reward money, which was offered during the manhunt for former Los Angeles cop-turned-cop-killer Christopher Dorner. So far, two people have come forward, but the Los Angeles Times writes, “Because Dorner elected to kill himself when cornered by police, he was neither arrested nor convicted. Some donors who pledged to the reward fund have thus elected to back out of their pledges.”

My quick research didn’t reveal much in the way of how often of an occurrence these instances are, where rewards are offered and then sort of reneged upon, however this article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette states that while tips into Crime Stoppers USA have led to over 600,000 arrests since the program’s inception in 1976, 40 percent of those tipsters never claim their prizes. Later in the same article, the board chairman of the crime organization speculated that the “promise of anonymity is sometimes more alluring than the reward money.”

I don’t fault Myers for wanting the money or for going public about this. I would have certainly done the same thing, just out of principle. I know that doing the right thing should be a reward in itself, but I also know that no good deed goes unpunished. We can’t continue to criticize these same communities for having a culture of “no snitching” to law enforcement and yet offer them little incentive to do so. And I’m not just talking about financial incentives, but also the promise of safety, service, protection and most importantly, respect.

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  • http://twitter.com/octuplet octuplet

    How much money is the city going to give to the person who really solves this case? Christina Regusters is still not talking or implicating anyone else in this horrific crime. No one else as of yet has been arrested. The “reward” money should be given to the person who is going to help these cops solve this crime. She did not do this crime alone. Others were involved. Someone out there knows who Christina Regusters’ co-conspirators are. And someone needs to come forward and out these kidnappers and rapists.

    If everyone who is involved, with this dastardly deed is not picked up, another child could be kidnapped and might be murdered. Someone in the house where Christina lived must know a lot more than they are saying.

    Where is this white or light skinned man that the police mentioned? Where is the dark skinned woman whom they thought was pregnant? Where is this person whose name was China? Where is this person named Rashida?

    How could they have raped this sweet child with others in the house and nobody heard her screams? If she was ripped apart as the news reports are saying, then she was in extreme pain. So she must have screamed. Someone in that house heard that little girls screams.

    And there must have been a lot of blood in that room if they raped this girl. Someone saw that blood. Yet a month passed with no arrest. Nobody living in that house turned Christina Regusters in. The little girl and the talking parrot helped cinch the case.

    Maybe they should give the bird 10,000 dollars for talking and breaking the case wide open.

    It was the bird that really helped these cops find the right house. It was not some passerby who happened to hear a little girls whimper, and called the cops.

    I wonder what else he could have done but call the police? I can’t think of anyone in their right mind who if they saw a hurt, injured, cold, naked small child in the dark, would not have called 911. People will call if they see an injured animal. Yet they don’t expect compensation.

    The police promised the reward so they have to pay up. Yet that man is in no way a hero. And if he had not found her by the morning tons of other people would have found her.

  • http://twitter.com/octuplet octuplet

    His wife is saying that they don’t know how they are going to pay their bills without this windfall of money. Yet I clearly remember him saying something about being a foster parent. And trying to adopt a foster child. How was he and his wife approved to take a child or children in their home if they cannot afford them with all the money they get from the state? I would not have expected money for doing something any human being would have done. He did not put his life in any danger at all. “Snitches” are witnesses to crimes so they definitely have a right to protection and compensation if they take a criminal off the street. Many “snitches” have been murdered or their family members have been murdered. They also have to testify in court many times. All this man did was to find a five year old girl who was naked with just a shirt on and dialed 911. And for this he gets 10,000 dollars. Sure the city promised and for that reason he will get his money. He is no hero in any way shape or form. His compensation is monetary so he definitely does not rise to the level of a hero.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amelie.schmidt.963 Amelie Schmidt

    What do the word “snitch” has to do with someone who “found” a lil baby girl in a park and rescued her? I don’t get it MN! I don’t get you sometimes but anyway. This man did not do it for the money since there was no talking about money until AFTER he found the girl “He was hailed as a hero and was promised a $10,000 reward from the city”. So he really acted out of kindness and humanity. HOWEVER the city promised him money and therefore should honor its promise.

  • FromUR2UB

    The money shouldn’t be offered if the funds aren’t already available for payment. It was originally reported that the reward was offered for the child’s return, which occurred. It can be years before someone goes to trial and is convicted. It’s wrong to use the reward as a lure, and then backslide on the promise.

  • qwiet

    Wow….can’t believe this guy hasn’t gotten the money yet!

  • Arewa

    The worst thing about this article is that you would use the word snitch. At all. Even in jest. What is the matter with you? This man did an amazing thing for this little girl and her family. This whole concept of “snitching” is moronic, insulting, and part of the reason communities of color have so many unsolved mysteries. You want to moderate something? Moderate the folks who write these articles with words like “snitch” and post pictures of innocent victims. Please do better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001272936414 MaryJane Sweetz

    I wonder… has it taken other tipsters this long to receive reward money?

  • guest

    Yet another reason for people not to step up and help the police. SMH.

    • http://www.facebook.com/amelie.schmidt.963 Amelie Schmidt

      Do you help people for money or because they’re human beings like you? I don’t understand your reasonning.

      • http://twitter.com/octuplet octuplet

        @Amelie Schmidt You are right on point. I thought people helped others especially children because it is the right thing to do. It should not be because we hope to come into a windfall of money. Sure the city promised him the money and he will get it. It just comes off as a little greedy when someone has to go public about something like this. His attorney could have contacted the city about his much needed do or die payment. When you still have others out there who are co-conspirators in this case, getting ten thousand to someone is not their number one priority. If the city promised the money then he will get it. Boy, he and his wife sound hungry!!! What happened? Did their food stamps run out? Maybe he has not gotten his monthly payment from the foster care system out in DELCO.

  • rzakia

    Somewhat off topic, I didn’t realize the little girl had been sexually assaulted. I’m surprised you guys ran her picture after knowing this. I thought victims of sexual assault were supposed to be protected.

    • Shea

      Her picture was ran when she was missing BEFORE it was discorvered she was sexually assaulted. We all know once its on the Internet it can NOT be deleted.

      • rzakia

        I understand what was ran before (btw you didn’t need to put that in all caps as I can read and understand) however, if you read any other story about anyone being abducted and found you will see that most publications no longer run their pictures after it is discovered that they had been sexually assaulted. You can’t do anything about things that were put on the internet before but you don’t have to continue to run her picture afterwords. It’s common knowledge and courtesy.

  • Guest

    Shameful, give him he money already!!!!

  • Pingback: Man Who Found Lost Girl Stiffed by Government Who Promised Him Reward | MommyNoire()

  • Akiko

    The title is a little misleading to me. It asks if he should get the money as if there was going to be a reason or reasons why he shouldn’t.

    It is not a ‘blessing’ that they are going to give him the money, because a little girl had to be kidnapped for it to happen.

  • kay

    Please, Nutter has no intent of giving this man money!! This is why when stuff happens people stay silent the authorities don’t keep their word.

  • NatashaDecemberBabyThomas

    He should! If there was a reward money involved in getting this child home safe and sound and he found her, he deserved that reward money as promised!

  • kierah

    Ridiculous that he should have to ask for money that was promised to him!