Life Is A Struggle...But...There's Always Hope

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC BK607690


First posted 4-11-2008. Hard to believe it's been 5 years since this happened.

Hi folks. This post is not about real estate.'s something I have to write. It will also not be politically correct so you have been warned.

TLW's last post mentioned one of our tenants that was shot and killed by the police department this past Thursday. This post will delve into this incident a little deeper.

We met this young man and his pregnant fiancée on Thanksgiving day 2007. Our Church sponsored a community dinner for anyone in the community who didn't have a place to go. When TLW and I arrived to help there wasn't much for us to do so we hopped in our car and went riding through the "hood" looking for folks who may want to come for a free Thanksgiving dinner. We had a few folks take us up on it including our future tenant and his fiancée. Let's name them..... Struggle and Hope.

Anyway, they were a beautiful young couple very much in love. They were very polite and very thankful that we found them. It seems they had been ostracized by their families and had no one and no place to go for Thanksgiving. Our invitation was accepted with open arms and they were welcomed, with open arms, at our dinner. It was a great day and we liked them.

As fate would have it, I received a call about a month later for one of our rentals. I recognized Struggle's voice right away and met with him and Hope about renting our house. They were currently crammed into an efficiency apartment that they were renting by the week.

Struggle was waiting tables at one of the local restaurants and was trying hard to find a place, they could call home, before the baby was born in May. We talked and we agreed to rent them our property at a little lower rent and we waived some of the move in costs to help them out. They were ecstatic. Hope was crying with joy and Struggle was smiling ear to ear.

It took him a few weeks of working extra shifts at the restaurant to be able to come up with the money to move in but he did. They moved in the second week of February. It was a very happy day.

All was going well. Just a sweet young couple in love and Hope's two year old son. I'll call him Spiderman since he LOVES Spiderman and is always wearing his little Spiderman outfit, while running around the house. He is a bundle of joy.

They had hope. And we were happy for them. It seemed like God had brought us all together. They needed a helping hand and TLW and I wanted to help.

On March 11th at 11:30 pm Struggle was shot and killed by the local police. We don't know the details. All we know is that there was an altercation in the Winn Dixie parking lot and he was shot by a 22 year old policeman and died.

TLW and I heard about the incident on the local news in the morning but had no idea it was Struggle. We found out when a reporter called me for an interview later that day. We were shocked to say the least.

A couple of hours later Hope called us. She was devastated, confused, mad and heart broken. We were too. She had been up all night trying to find Struggle. She had called all the hospitals and the police department but nobody knew, or were willing to say, anything. She thought maybe he had been in a car accident, she had just spoken to him at 11:00 pm on Thursday, 30 minutes before the incident. He called to see if she wanted him to bring home something to eat from McDonalds. That was the last she ever spoke to him.

Folks, we don't know why this happened. We don't know if Struggle was up to no good or not. We do know Struggle is dead and the police officers have been suspended, with pay, while this is investigated.

We also know, Hope, is now alone. We know she will be having their child in about 3 weeks.

I saw Hope yesterday. My Church had given me some money to take over to her, so I did. This young lady broke my heart. All I wanted to do was hold her and make the pain go away. I held her....but the pain stayed. The worst part was when Spiderman kept asking for "TaTa". She had to explain, to a two year old, that "TaTa" was hurt bad and would not be coming home.

I can't even imagine the pain this young lady is going through.

This entire situation got me thinking. What if I had been a young black man growing up in a rough neighborhood? What if when I was 16 and got caught for pulling up stop signs, as a prank, I had been sent to prison, instead of just being reprimanded, because I was white and the son of a Pastor? Would I have grown up scared of "the man", knowing that if I got caught for doing anything, I would be sent to jail?

So many unanswered questions. So much pain. Life is a Struggle but there's always Hope. Please pray for Hope.

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Comments (14)

Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Prays being broadcast. Quiet a story. And we all know it happens a lot and not always with answers why, or how to stop, cheat death when it happens right on schedule. Thanks for the from the heart, painful post.

Apr 13, 2013 10:56 PM
Beth and Richard Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Center Moriches, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

I think we all need to have a little more than hope these days... I think we need to begin by following the 10 Commandments and bringing the Lord back into our lives and our Country... With him we can do all things.. without him "God Help Us"

Happy Day Bryant...

Apr 13, 2013 10:59 PM
Brad MacKenzie
Brad MacKenzie - Duxbury, MA
Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore

Wow, Bryant, that's one heck of a story.  Heart-wrenching.  Is there any follow-up on the incident or the family?  Where are Hope and Spiderman now?

Apr 13, 2013 11:00 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Bryant, prayers and hugs to Hope and Spiderman.  And this is not a time to worry about the politically correct thing to say.

Apr 13, 2013 11:01 PM
Jeremy Joslin
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - South Windsor, CT
Professional Real Estate Marketing and Sales

I will say a prayer for Hope and Spidey.

Apr 14, 2013 12:13 AM
Jim Crawford
Maximum One Executive REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

But for the grace of God...thoughts and prayers. Sometimes there is nothing we can do or say except be there and offer a shoulder to cry on or a arm to hold another person up.  Sometimes at moments like these we have to be grateful for our own lives and give thanks that we have not had incidents like this occurred to us.

Apr 14, 2013 12:23 AM
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

So very sad.  Thanks to you she had some assistance during her pregnancy.  Prayers go out to her and her 2 year old son and upcoming birth.  Hopefully she'll receive some sort of assistance so she can get her footing and be a good role model for her children.  Prayers!

Apr 14, 2013 12:34 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Bryant, Life has so many struggles and unexpected occurrences. If it weren't for hope where we be? In despair.

Apr 14, 2013 08:07 AM
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Alliance 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

BB, Any idea what became of Hope and the children?  A shame that it came to this.

Apr 14, 2013 09:58 AM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Hi Liz. I don't know. I spoke to Hope about 2 years ago and she was doing well. Had a new job and an apartment. Then lost track of her.

Apr 14, 2013 09:32 PM
Michele Connors
The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County - Greenville, NC
Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor

Bryant.. 5 yrs later -- any update on the story of Hope.. ? what was the outcome of the shooting ? Was it justified or did the PD make a huge mistake.. ?? 


and as a gal from Jupiter Fl  is that the Jupiter Lighthouse I see in the photo ???

Apr 19, 2013 10:58 PM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Hi Michelle. Never really heard what happened to the case. The lighthouse was near St Augustine

Apr 26, 2013 10:44 PM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Bryant - what a heart-wrenching story. Do you know why they killed him?

BTW, the lighthouse is n Ponce Inlet. I recognised it. In St. Augustine it is white and black.

May 05, 2013 03:11 PM
Andi Grant
310-508-4354 | - Los Angeles, CA
Helping 1st time buyers and home sellers in LA!

This saddens me. I hope her and the child are doing well. 

I have a son who goes into work at 4am in the morning.  When his car was in the shop and he had to ride his bike for a week, he ALWAYS has to consider and second-guess everything from wearing dark-colored clothes, keeping to main streets (even though residential back streets would get him to work faster), keeping his work ID clipped to the outside of his coat to make sure that he has a CHANCE to explain why he, a black kid, is out in a nice neighborhood at 4 am in the morning.  I would find myself waking up around the time he went into work simply because I was so nervous at would could happen with a bunch of bored policeman.

May 08, 2013 06:18 AM