How Did Philadelphia Abduction Suspect Go From Good Student To “Thug”?

Because a Philadelphia street abduction was caught on video, the crime has been getting prominent play on national television newscasts as well as local media. The Philadelphia Daily News, for example, is telling the life story of suspect Delvin Barnes, 37, who faces federal kidnapping charges for allegedly snatching Carlesha Freeland-Gaither from a dark corner on Sunday night. Barnes became a household name when Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey called him a “thug” and a “vicious predator.”
When Barnes’ uncle, Lamar, got wind that Delvin was coming to down last week, Lamar warned people to stay away from him. Under the watchful eye of Delvin’s father, a stern preacher, Delvin got good grades and generally stayed out of trouble. Then he joined the Army, but his military career didn’t last long. He was dishonorably discharged, his uncle said, after getting caught with an underage girl in his barracks. That ill-fated tryst seems to have presaged a lifelong “difficulty with women,” as his uncle put it. He later spent seven years in prison for attacking his estranged wife and her parents. Last month, he allegedly kidnapped, raped and brutalized a 16-year-old girl in Virginia before the Philadelphia episode. To his uncle, “It just goes to show that it doesn’t have to do with who your parents are. You turn out the way you turn out.” (The Washington Post reported on how a GPS installed in Barnes’ vehicle by a dealer helped catch him.)

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