I-TEAM: Victims of Violence

You may not think it could happen to you or your family, but tragedy can strike at any time.
Published: Nov. 10, 2023 at 1:25 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2023 at 11:27 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - It’s the position no one wants to be in, you or a family member is the victim of a serious, violent crime.  Usually this is traumatic event that has much longer lasting impacts than many imagine.

The 13 Action News I-Team is taking a personal look at those impacts to those victims and the families left behind.

You hear about crimes all the time.  Many of a violent nature but while the memory of the case may fade for you, some live with it for the rest of their lives.

The murder of General Hurst on new year’s eve 2006 still feels like it happened yesterday this his father Gabriel Burgete.

“He’s always crossing my mind everyday.  It’ll be 17 years this December,” said Burgete. “It feels like it was just yesterday.  Still the haunting there off and on.” 

General lost his life that night but he wasn’t the only victim.  Family members left behind suffer as well.

Burgete says it’s up and downs, emotions he wouldn’t want any other family to go through.  Especially as this family considers that the man convicted for the murder, Charles Rodriguez, is up for parole next year. Hurst’s family has roots here and it’s something they’ll be watching.

Some victims and their families need a fresh start. The I-Team travelled to Massillon near Akron where we met a family that very vividly recalls what happened to them in Toledo nearly 20 years ago.

It was supposed to be a fun 8th birthday party for Engelbert Orume. After lunch and a movie it was time to play. 

“Then we showed up at Nickelworld and 8-year-old me is all excited.  Went in there and started to party,” said Orume. 

After playing games, a man older than him approached offering what Orume believed was a piggy bank. Then things took a scary and dangerous turn. 

“He kinda like lured me toward the back and then we walked into this door and it was the bathroom. Then from there he trapped me in the bathroom, put his back up against the door,” said Orume. 

Orume fought to get out and eventually escaped. Police arrested the guy on the spot, eventually he’d be convicted and serve 16 years.

As part of his healing process, Orume enrolled in counseling and used football as a way to relieve stress. That process hasn’t been easy, a road that has included some substance abuse. He believes this whole thing has put a chip on his shoulder. 

“Maybe a little bit. Just because I grew up and matured at a younger age than most people do because of it,” said Orume.

“You can’t control, how someone else heals. That’s what was hardest for me. Watching him go through it and not being able to help him like I want to,” said Lisa Orume, his mother.

Lisa has watched it all.  A struggle when you can’t do much but offer support. 

“Just keep loving. Just keep loving your child,” said Lisa Orume.

In a best-case scenarios, victims have advocates along the way. For example, in the court system.

“For some people this process can be part of their healing process.  For others it’s once the court, criminal justice process is done, I think, they can then feel like they can move on,” said Monica DeLeon the director of the Wood County Victim-Witness Services department. 

Offices like hers can point people to counseling services, provide information on things like parole, or many times just listen. 

“We’re hoping that we’re all working together to meet the end goal here which is providing hopefully some justice to them.  Some closure if that’s possible,” said DeLeon. “Most of the times these victims feel like they can’t speak or they can’t do this or they can’t do that because they’re trying to live the way other people want them to live.  And they need to step back and let them do them,” said Orume.

“You’ve got to stick with people who’ve been through it that knows what you’re going through,” said Burgete. “No victim heals exactly the same way. Grief and trauma have no playbook.”