by David Williams, HNN Freelance Correspondent
A notorious local criminal from the Guynadotte community of Huntington is in trouble again.   A video on WSAZ's website shows him in a violent struggle at a pawn shop after being confronted by someone claiming the arrestee stole his property.  The video can be viewed here  video 

This repeat offender whose Summer crime spree made local news and grabbed the attention of then City Councilman Rick Simmons.  In June 2015, the Guyandotte community became angered by a string of thefts that were motivated by the suspects  drug addiction.  Councilman Simmons was concerned by the activity but felt a new program to rehabilitate drug addicts and have them go to rehab instead of jail could work .  Simmons offered on multiple Guyandotte Community boards on Facebook to get Kirk placed into a rehab in order to get help for his drug addiction.  Kirk turned himself in but checked out of rehab the next day.

A local manhunt was issued  after the repeat offender checked out of rehab and was caught within days and placed back in jail.  Now, less than 6 months later, he is back in trouble for theft again.  This leads to the question how long do we continue the catch and release process with repeat offenders.  Often, this type of behavior continues to an accident occur or an occurrance gets out of control and someone gets hurt.  As you can see from the video, the opportunity was present for someone to be hurt. 

It is reasonable to expect that after an individual either receives help for addiction or blows the opportunity for it that we no longer except addiction has an excuse for their dangerous behavior.  After the treatment or after they walk out of treatment, for any further crimes they  should be treated as habitual offenders and  receive very strict sentences should be handed down to prevent this person from infringing on others' rights.  With his latest crime, the offender  has demonstrated that he is a threat to others and he should be kept away from people  because attempts to change his behavior have failed and he is a threat to others.

Huntington needs to start strict sentencing for habitual criminals to show repeat offenders that their crime sprees will not be tolerated.  An addict should be given a chance to change their behavior but when they continue to commit the same crimes after having a chance to change, they should receive harsh sentences to protect others from them and to send a message that habitual offenders will not be tolerated.