Friday, June 02, 2017

A Tragic Day For Our Community



Steven DeToro
Article and photos by Brian E. Clark, staff writer

AndrĂ© Breton cited a profound quote regarding suicide, saying, Lifes greatest gift is the freedom it leaves you to step out of it whenever you choose.”  I find much truth in that saying because in reality, all of us are one bad decision away from committing suicide.  This article focuses on the latest suicide on the Arrigoni Bridge, where unnamed sources in Law Enforcement identify the man as Steven DeToro from Portland.  Again, unnamed sources say that Mr. DeToro allegedly shot himself on the bridge, and then fell off of it and into the river, 100 feet below.  As of the time of this writing, they had not yet found him.

I personally did not know Mr. DeToro, but from the research I had done for this story, his friends and family painted a picture of a man who was very much loved, respected and whose friendship and presence was cherished by all who knew him.  So, why suddenly end it all?  Well, that’s where I actually come in.  Suicide is a fickle bitch.  It’s often said in a Meme, or on Social Media, that, “Everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about.”  How absolutely true that is!  We all have either done, or not done things in our lives that we regret or have people we have wronged, and the list goes on and on.  A concise definition is; "we all have skeletons in our closet", and some of us don’t know how to deal with them.
 
I can speak from experience, actually.  It’s not secret among my friends that I went through enormous difficulties and tragedies in my life and frankly, at the time where these things were coming to a head, I attempted suicide.  Twice.  I won’t go into details because in retrospect, nothing I was going through was worth taking my life over.  But that is just my story; One Person's.  And for years following my last attempt, I worked so hard with different treatment providers and therapists and mentors from my Church.  I can say it until I’m blue in my face, but nothing, and I mean nothing, is worth taking your life over.  Talk to someone.  Humans have an ability to adapt and change to help others.  We are one of the few mammals on this planet, (The others are Elephants, Dogs, and Pigs) that adapt to comfort others, and I mostly mean friends and family, but there are caring and loving strangers that will go out of their way to help, as well.


It is very unfortunate about Mr, Detoro.  It’s my hope and prayer that they recover his body quickly so that his family can have some closure.  Yesterday, I went to the search area and I applaud the actions of the Middletown, Portland, and State Police, and the Middletown and Portland Fire Departments and the Dive Teams associated with those agencies.  It was very heartening to see these agencies work together to bring Mr. Detoro home.

I walk the Arrigoni Bridge very often and it’s sad so many lives have been taken from that Bridge.  This is not the time or place for a political discussion, but there was talk of installing safeguards on the bridge and I will be sure to make that a focus in a future article.  That said, I would have liked to have known Steven Detoro.  He really seemed like a great man, and whether any of us knew him or not, his death is a tragedy in our community.

He will never be forgotten.

18 comments:

  1. Well said, Brian... It is true ... no one knows what other's are going through... or, how much they can take... or, what was the 'final straw that broke the camel's back'... All of us are affected by what happens to each of us... because as John Donne said,
    "Each man's death diminishes me, For I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the bell tolls, It tolls for thee."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Steve was a great guy, always a smile, always cared about what was going on with your life. This is beyond unbelievable, although a sad reality in our lives. I won't ever forget him, as life passes us much to quickly. Those who know him will always have that special moment where he touched us. For me it was on a sandlot football field, a hard tackle made, a great friend for life. Rest well Steve, may god bless your family!

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  3. Very eloquent Brian & Dan. As brothers & sisters to our fellow man, we have a responsibility to always seek the good in one another & communicate that to each when we do find it. We never know when a kind word or deed might be the bright spot turning point in someone's life.

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  4. Brian this is one article that I have personally read several times over. It is so true, you may think what is going on around you is all there is, either people chose not to see or see very clearly, nothing is worth taking your life. I graduated high school with a younger Detoro, who has always showed me kindness and respect. I didn't know Steven well, I would run into him in bars (in my younger years), and him too, always smiling and a very kind man. I feel for the family, I cannot imagine what his brother, wife, kids, cousins and friends must be going through. There are no words to make them feel better, no words that say Dad is OK, no words that say he'll be home soon. In this kind of tragedy, unfortunately, suffering and possibly destruction is left behind with the people that love him and will never forget him. My prayers are with them and I wish for his children to remember him as they wonderful person he was, although he must of been distraught and broken inside, he was very much loved and will be remembered by everyone as the wonderful and caring person he was. Manuela Loredana Bongiorno

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  5. To the person who wrote commenting about a motive: This article makes no mention of a motive for Mr. DeToro's suicide.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why does a motive have to be mentioned?
      A family lost a member due to an unfortunate tragedy. Enough said

      Delete
  6. Please note: It unfortunately became necessary to moderate all comments, a year or so ago. As such, there may be some lag time between the time a comment is submitted and when it is posted.

    Editor

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In some cases, the lag time might be substantial.

      Delete
  7. To the family and friends of Mr. Steven DeToro:

    On behalf of the staff at The Middletown Insider, please accept our heart-felt condolences for your loss. It is clear from the comments both here and in other media, that Mr. DeToro was a fine man, well loved and respected throughout the community. He will be missed by many.

    Editor

    ReplyDelete
  8. The one comment I would make is that we should not be saying things such as, "theres nothing worth dying over" because the pain, noise and true existential suffering of many can not always be lived with. Its a form of judging when comments like this are made. Peace. Sometimes its not found here. Peace be with you Steven

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  9. Beautiful article. I'm sorry his family and friends have suffered a tragic lose. I pray for him to find preface. And to the writer, thank youy for sharing your story.

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  10. On behalf of Deborah Tillotta, Lighthouse Point, Florida sister of Steven DeToro:

    Steven was my favorite brother, he kept my family together. I was so proud of him, he was the Quarterback and Captain of the Woodrow Wilson Football team and he has always been loved by everyone. Our family will be lost without him.

    ReplyDelete
  11. On behalf of Deborah Tillotta of Lighthouse Point, Florida:
    Steven was my favorite brother, he kept my family together. I was so proud of him; he was a very accomplished person; quarterback and captain of the Woodrow Wilson football team. He loved everybody and everyone loved him. He was a fantastic father, he was so proud of his kids and his wonderful wife Erin, my heart breaks for them all. -Deb

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  12. As a writer, one would think you'd gather all facts of the day before presenting them to the public. Steven has touched the hearts of many. Please honor him and his family without making assumptions. You are forever in our hearts, Steve D. All my love and prayers to your family, Brenda Jean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being the writer of this article, I did have all the facts, but for the sake of the family, and being a decent human being (Yes, I know that's hard to believe when my name comes up, but I digress...) I left facts out that would trouble people, especially the family. That all said, Steven will not have died in vain, as his death has motivated myself, and many other great members of this community to come together and try to stop losing lives on that bridge. Be critical all you want, it is your constitutional right, but please know that at the time this was a sensitive subject, and still is in many regards, and I'll always tell a truthful story, but never at the expense of someone else's emotional expense. It is still, and forever will be, my hope and prayer that Steven is found, and returned home. And once we are done grieving, we will come together, and in his name, make sure that not one more life is taken on that bridge.

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  13. There is a gofundme page if you would like to help this family and donate.

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  14. Where exactly did you get your facts? As an immediate family member, I know for a fact that no family member spoke to you about Steven. If you knew the facts then you would have printed that Steven was in a car accident that day as a result of low blood sugar. You would have stated that he was a very, very severe diabetic who suffered debilitating symptoms that included paranoia, combativeness, confusion, and irrationality. You would have stated, if you knew any facts, that during a diabetic episode, he didn't even recognize immediate family members and had no idea what he was doing, nor saying. If you knew the facts, you would know that once his sugar returned to normal, he had no recollection of what he had done, nor said when in the throws of low blood sugar. You would have stated that it took his body hours to return to normal. You would have also stated that the hospital let him walk away, without contacting any family member, despite the fact that his sugar was not regulated and he had no means of transportation, as his car had been towed from the accident site. You would know that Steven wasn't depressed or in a planned state of mind to hurt himself or anyone else. If you knew the facts, you would know that Steven would lose a limb before hurting his family and he had definitive plans in place for the future. The FACT is he has 3 beautiful children who are suffering beyond belief. They were extremely close to their dad and knew the person he was. Unfortunately, they also knew the crucial role diabetes played in his life. Steven DeToro the man would NEVER have done anything to bring any suffering to his friends and family. Steven DeToro the diabetic, was incapable of knowing what he was doing during a low blood episode. I'm not sure how you can state you knew facts when you didn't. I'm pretty sure the police department didn't speak to you, and I know the family didn't. Get your facts straight! Better yet, don't ever speak about Steven or his family again. You don't deserve to even mention his name as he was one of a kind and all who knew him could attest to that. Leave the family alone! Focus on your own life, instead of trying to gain popularity by printing things you know nothing about! Steven always gave people of all walks of life the benefit of the doubt and forgave people for their mistakes and stupidity. Im not as forgiving when my family is directly affected! I'm not sure how you sleep at night!

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    Replies
    1. I didn't know any of these facts, I am so sorry he was going through all of this but I want to thank you for letting it out, this totally changes the way I saw things, still, the world has lost a very special person.

      M. L. Bongiorno

      Delete

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