Monday, September 27th, 2010

Jersey Mayhem: When You Read in the Paper about Someone You Remember from High School

poor damion, who was not at all poorFall of 1985, my freshman year at Red Bank Regional high school, there was a kid whose locker was down the hall from mine who came to school dressed in ill-fitting clothes that had holes in them. His name was Damion. I didn't know him, but I sat behind his friend John in history class. Damion was very short and very skinny and his hair was often messed up. Other kids teased him. One day news went around the school that he had squared off to fight another kid, this guy Jeff, who was much bigger than him, and that Damion had pulled out a knife and made Jeff back down. I didn't quite believe it. It sounded like something out of a movie.

I saw Jeff and asked him if it was true and he said it was. "He pulled a fucking knife on me," said Jeff. "What was I going to do?"

The next day in history class, I asked John about it. "Oh, yeah," John said, "That's Damion. He's crazy." I think I then questioned the intelligence of bringing a knife to high school. "No, Damion's smart," John said. "People think he's stupid, but he's really smart. He is crazy, though. He doesn't give a fuck."

The next year, Damion started coming to school in nice clothes and fresh haircuts. He'd grown taller, too, and would often be talking to girls. By the time we were juniors, he was wearing very expensive-looking suits and jewelry and brand-new sneakers with the tags still on them every day.

Everyone knew what was going on. A girl in my homeroom who had grown up near Damion told me that he was making $30,000 every weekend. I didn't quite believe it, I don't think. But then, I didn't really understand how much money that was anyway at that point. She told me that every weekend he'd get two hotel rooms. One where he'd keep his stash, one where'd he'd sleep. And that he'd rent a new Mercedes or BMW to drive around in. "He'd better stop before he turns 18," she said. "The cops are just waiting for him."

I don't remember Damion being at graduation. And I hadn't heard news of him until last week, when he was sentenced to 20 years in prison-eight before being eligible for parole-for first-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute and second-degree money laundering. He was arrested last year when police found more than $1 million worth of cocaine and heroin, and four guns, including an AR-15 assault rifle, after searching his two Asbury Park apartments.

His lawyer told a reporter from the Asbury Park Press that Damion is not going to sell any more drugs after he gets out prison. "He doesn't want to live this lifestyle anymore," the lawyer said.

12 Comments / Post A Comment

HiredGoons (#603)

I mean… you name your kid Damion, you're just ASKing for trouble.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

On a positive note, he should be out in time for the 30 year high school reunion.

BardCollege (#2,307)

Only if he behaves himself!

barnhouse (#1,326)

So sad. Also weird, that he kept attending high school.

BardCollege (#2,307)

Good cover, client base, if you happen to get caught the judge may be more lenient on a student than a drop out. Not that I would know…

SeaBassTian (#281)

Surprised me there – I thought the punchline was going to be he grew up to be some slick, white-collar drug dealer, possibly somebody well-known. Easy to see how a picked-on kid might be seduced by the fake glam life "style" of illegal distribution.

dado (#102)

Well that explains why I didn't see him at the Red Bank Oyster Festival yesterday.

Much less scary than seeing your junior year physics teacher-the one everyone considered the cool teacher-on the California Megan's Law list, with "Lewd acts with 14 and 15 yr old boys" listed under offenses.

garge (#736)

And yet, my overtly perverted junior year physics teacher is still on the payroll.

C_Webb (#855)

I remember being away for the summer between 8th and 9th grade and getting like four letters (LETTERS!) on the same day telling me what my parents knew but hadn't shared — a kid in my class had murdered two women with an axe. He was kind of weird, but definitely not axe-murderer weird; friendly, albeit a little odd around the eyes. Of course, he had a single mother and lived in an apartment*, so what else could you expect of him, really?

*CWebb is a single mother who lives in an apartment, sans axe.

Went to Holmdel High School myself. I remember reading in the news a while back ago about one guy from Holmdel getting arrested for growing a ton of weed in his parent's basement. I remember he was once picked on a lot too.

Not nearly as intense as Damion but it's crazy to witness how people like that develop.

I also remember that a man once murdered his wife in Holmdel and hid her body in the garage, but that story got buried in the news since the HHS football team was winning for the first time in forever that week! Great stuff!

Jersey Mayhem, indeed.

abd al-musawwir (#4,685)

How about hearing that the cocky little Colombian dude your younger sister was dating (in the 80s) has disappeared, got away from the fuzz leaving 11 pounds of cocaine at the scene. Plainclothes are hanging about her job at the cosmetics counter at Nordstrom and the next thing you know his parents die in a plane crash. He couldn't resist and was nabbed at the funeral dressed in drag.

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