Daily News story misrepresented dog incident

Dear Editor:

They say no good deed goes unpunished, and never was this more apparent as in the story written in the Aspen Daily News (Tuesday, March 15), about Rachel Langsam – who stopped to help a terrified boy – but ended up in lawsuits and public degradation.

It’s also disturbing that one can purport whatever they, but instead of checking those facts – that are easily accessible through the courts or even, as in this case, the eyewitness testimony of two firemen – the writer, Chad Abraham, depicts them all as truth. Multiple e-mails, letters to the editor, texts and phone calls went unanswered, as a constellation of people tried to point out actual reality, but the Aspen Daily News couldn’t even bother to listen.

Susan Markwood, who has spent the past few years suing Langsam, sunk to a new low with her recollection of events that transpired that fateful day. For those interested in the actual facts, the events unfolded as follows:

Markwood abandoned her 5 1/2-year-old son as she disappeared with her other two children, leaving him completely alone in the woods. There was no “friend” accompanying the small boy – as Markwood told the reporter, as he stood crying hysterically on the path among the trees. Paralyzed with fear from being left alone since it was becoming dark, the poor child’s screams were so loud that not only did they attract the attention of two firemen at the station on the street below, but the good Samaritan Rachel Langsam, who was taking her dog for its evening stroll. Hearing the boy’s frightened screams for help, Langsam quickly went to his aid.

Finding it hard to calm the boy, her leashed dog Mocha quietly lay down, waiting while its master attended to the frightened child, as the firemen also came responding to his screams.

Finally, as the boy began to stop hyperventilating, the mother came back down the trail with her two girls and their unleashed German Shepherd, all making a big commotion. At this moment, one of the girls and the German Shepherd descended, literally, upon Mocha, who in jumping up, accidentally caught the girl in trying to defend itself against the unleashed and aggressive German Shepherd.

Mocha, accidentally nipping the girl in the face – made a wound near the nostril – a far cry from an artery slashing episode that could have required the “flight for life” Markwood dramatically reported (never mind the fact that the resulting wound actually healed within a few days).

If Mocha had been such a “vicious dog,” why didn’t it react to the hysterical abandoned little boy Langsam was trying to calm down?

Because Markwood, a financially desperate woman, saw the dollar signs in this event, and sued Langsam, in addition to the already fully paid-for medical expenses – something she fails to admit. In actuality, she tried to destroy Langsam’s dog, reputation and the efforts of someone who was going above and beyond the duties of a good Samaritan.

Angel Cusick