Editorial: Will Steve Wasserman be free again?
The day Steve Wasserman is freed from prison, should that day ever come, will be too soon.
Wasserman, 36, is the man who broke into his ex-girlfriend Susan Rizk’s Al Tahoe home last October, slashing her repeatedly with a sword in the presence of her young daughter. He pleaded no contest this week to charges related to the assault, and is awaiting sentencing Aug. 4 – Wasserman faces seven years to life in prison.
The attack shocked the community, and Rizk’s injuries were so severe that she has had to undergo seven surgeries, and spent two months at Washoe Medical Center in Reno. During much of that time, she was on life support – now she is working to overcome her injuries with physical therapy. More surgeries will come.
To use the cliché “the scars will never heal” would understate this case. Rizk has suffered tremendously because of Wasserman’s rage, and nearly lost her life. But South Lake Tahoe is scarred as well – that one of our own was attacked in such a heinous manner cannot be forgotten, because someone with Wasserman’s extreme violent tendencies cannot be trusted to be a member of our community again.
Through the ordeal, Susan Rizk has discovered friends she never knew she had, and has strengthened her religious faith and family ties. She has shown herself to be courageous in a situation that would devastate many. She has even expressed a desire that Wasserman be treated with mercy.
But in this case mercy must be tempered by justice. This crime affected Susan Rizk, her daughter and their family. But it also affected neighbors and South Tahoe residents. Through this act, Wasserman showed his terrible nature to intimidate, assault and even attempt murder. And he showed clearly that mercy is not part of his nature, so he must remain in an environment where his actions can be controlled.
Steve Wasserman can never be allowed to do this again.
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