“It wasn’t me!”

The first thing I remember “CJ” Mitcheltree saying was “Go Pirates!”
That was because he was on my son’s Temple City National Little League Team, the Coast Pirates, back in 2001. Now, the 18-year-old Temple City youth has been arrested in connection with several violent hate crimes, including the stabbing of an African-American man in May at the Carl’s Jr. on Las Tunas Drive in Temple City (see “Hate crime ring said broken,” Aug. 3, and “Stabbing suspect surrenders,” Aug. 2, reported by Frank C. Girardot. Also, check out Girardot’s blog “crime scene” also in www.sgvtribune and www.pasadenastarnews.com).
What’s he saying now?
i-313b8cc8362aa61ac0b474b05663ae54-MITCHELTREE_CJ.jpg


I’m not sure. He turned himself into authorities Wednesday and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail on suspicion of attempted murder.
All of this is hard to believe for a quiet town like Temple City, where I’ve lived and raised my family for a short period of time in TC years — a lilttle more than nine years. What made an enthusiastic Little Leaguer who helped our team win, get into trouble with the law, as the authorities allege?
Maybe we get a glimpse of a different CJ in the TCHS yearbook (2007). Next to his senior picture, Mitcheltree says: “It wasn’t me!”

This entry was posted in environment, land use, Pasadena by Steve Scauzillo. Bookmark the permalink.

About Steve Scauzillo

I love journalism. I've been working in journalism for 32 years. I love communicating and now, that includes writing about environment, transportation and the foothill/Puente Hills communities of Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Walnut and Diamond Bar. I write a couple of columns, one on fridays in Opinion and the other, The Green Way, in the main news section. Send me ideas for stories. Or comments. I was opinion page editor for 12 years so I enjoy a good opinion now and then.

One thought on ““It wasn’t me!”

  1. I know Christopher to be a good, well-liked kid. He comes from a loving and respectful family. Let’s not be so quick to assume he is guilty of any of these allegations. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time, doesn’t make you a criminal… it makes you a stupid kid who doesn’t choose company very wisely… and haven’t we all been guilty of that at some point in our lives. Maybe if the school district would have addressed past problems between individuals, things would have never got to this point in the first place. Kids will not always get along; some will have mutual dislikes for each other, arguments, and possible confrontations. Can’t we depend on the professionals of the school to recognize these problems and address them right away, instead of avoiding them from the very start? Then they sit back and wonder what happened… What happened is that they were negligent! Negligent for shoving issues under the rug, and negligent in providing a safe school environment for all our kids. TCHS is not the “perfect” school anymore — not because of the kids, but because of the lack of qualified staff!

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