Death at Dumont’s

There’s a very rough bar in El Cajon that I’ve been to once, just to say I did it. It’s called Dumont’s.

It is notorious, to say the least.

So I’m not surprised to read that there was recently a stabbing and a shooting there. What’s another murder at Dumont’s?

There are two interesting things about this Union-Tribune story, however.

First, I found this sentence odd: “The bar is known to be frequented by members of a motorcycle gang, KFMB-TV reported.”

Why is the U-T citing another news organization on this? Is KFMB suddenly an expert on biker bars in San Diego? This is lazy reporting. Besides, the sentence could credibly be recast to read: “The bar is known as a biker hang out.” This sentence is 100 percent factual, doesn’t accuse anybody of engaging in criminal activity (which is why, I presume, the U-T felt it necessary to attribute the “gang” accusation), and it gives the savvy reader all the information he needs about what kind of place Dumont’s is.

The second element of the story worth noting is this:

El Cajon police first became aware of the violence when officers saw a speeding vehicle being driven without lights near Melody Lane and Main Street at about 12:45 a.m. yesterday, said El Cajon police Lt. Fred Morrison.

The motorist, who refused to stop, drove to a vacant building that had once been a hospital in the 1600 block of East Main Street, Morrison said. He told officers he was taking a friend to the hospital.

In the vehicle was a wounded man who was later pronounced dead by paramedics, Morrison said.

Hell, I think this should have been the lede. A man drives his friend to the hospital that is nothing but a vacant building, and has been vacant for a number of years, and that isn’t the lede? That’s human tragedy. Especially when any local reader is going to know that the former El Cajon Valley Hospital is further way (at least five miles east of Dumont’s), and slower to get to on surface streets, than Grossmont Hospital to the West, which is a straight freeway shot of about two miles. And Grossmont has also always had state of the art emergency facilities.

I can only presume this late breaking story was handed off to an intern.

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