alcohol, campus, Central Michigan University, CM Life, CMUPD, dead student, Dearborn Heights man, diabetic, Fabiano Botanical Garden, Homecoming weekend, Morning Sun, Mount Pleasant MI, negligence, police investigation, pond, theories, tragedy
UPDATE (Tuesday, October 7):
I apologize to Michael Harnett’s friends for my harsh words. They came out much worse than I intended when I was trying to get a point across. I felt bad afterwards, plus strangers and my own friends alike have pointed out the faulty commentary in my blog post. I stand by the fact that this could have been prevented, but I am truly sorry for rubbing salt in the wounds. Thank you to those who called out on my bullshit. I appreciate your honesty.
Monday, October 6
As I’ve expressed on social media, everything about the Michael A. Harnett case pisses me off. This is a scenario that could have been easily prevented and this young man died for no good reason. I have theories, not to mention questions, in regards to this horrific death. But let me first tell you my side of the story:
It was around 6 p.m. or so when I went on Facebook and saw that one of my acquaintances Anne Russell (@annemruss on Twitter) had posted – and kept posting – pictures of a police-taped off scene on campus. It took me a moment before it dawned on me that there was possibly a body in the pond by the gazebo. I checked what @cmupd, @CMLIFE and what other accounts were saying on Twitter, but eventually, impatience and curiosity got the better of me so I hauled ass to the scene. Like many others, I tried to get a peak over the blue tarps, snapping pictures and waiting. And waiting. It was unbelievably quiet. Even the reporters and photographers who spoke with the authorities and bystanders did so in hushed tones. Right as they were pulling the person out of the water, the school’s clock tower hit seven and rang its bells. It was a true Gothic moment.
CMUPD press release – “Body of 18-year-old Dearborn Heights man found on CMU campus”
Theories and thoughts
This young man went missing after a drinking spree with his friend on Homecoming weekend and apparently drowned in the pond. I suspect foul play, or in the least, negligence and pure utter stupidity. Harnett was an insulin-dependent diabetic, which means he shouldn’t have been drinking in the first place. Why the hell would his friends let him drink if they knew he was diabetic? I’m not ignoring the fact that Harnett was 18 and considerably an adult and he should have know what his body can’t take so he definitely made a bad decision. But why wouldn’t his friends show more concern? Perhaps they thought it wouldn’t be so bad so they let him drink and they forgot about that little detail as the night went on, feeling young and setting the world on fire.
Nevertheless, friends are supposed to have each other’s back. Always and everywhere. I don’t see how you wouldn’t know that your friend is diabetic and that drinking is most likely a lethal choice. What kind of friend lets you jeopardize your life? What kind of friend doesn’t go looking for you if you disappear at two in the morning? What kind of friend lets over 12 HOURS pass by before alerting the police? If my drunk friend went missing, didn’t answer my texts and phone calls, and still was nowhere to be seen the next day, I would be losing my shit. From my understanding, the police weren’t even alerted by his so-called friends, but it was Harnett’s father who called them at 2:15 p.m. and then gave them the contact information of his son’s friends. That’s when these “friends” did something about the situation.
Another thing that upsets me is the blatant fact that this poor guy lied in the water for 14 hours before anyone found him. It doesn’t become bright until 8-ish nowadays and I know Sundays tend to have less foot traffic, but are you telling me that people walked passed that pond and no one noticed there was a dead body in the water? No one saw him in the middle of the day? Are people so self-absorbed in their own lives and busy playing with their phones that they don’t notice something so despicable? Or worse yet, did people notice and just not care or wonder what or who was in there?
It sickens me to think that we live in such a society. Harnett was the same age as my little brother; it could just as easily have been him dead in the water. Again, this could have been so easily prevented if someone had pulled their head out of their ass. I think one thing we can learn from this is choose your friends more wisely, because even if you drink too much or do something dumb, there are people watching out for you.