Vandals steal deaf woman’s door signal (NBC 12 Richmond)

Vandals steal deaf woman’s door signal

May 31, 2007
By Andy Jenks, NBC 12 News


Vandals have played a cruel prank on a deaf woman, stealing a link to the outside world. A button outside the woman’s home is connected to lights inside. That’s how she knows if there’s an emergency.

Now that button is gone, stolen by vandals who chose to target a helpless victim.

If there were a fire near Denise Frantz’s home, it would be difficult for her to know without a series of light signals triggered from the outside. There used to be one on her door at The Bluffs on Victoria Street in Hopewell, until someone vandalized the button, apparently knowing she was not around to stop the crime.

Even at 81 years old, Henry Frantz is still looking after his daughter. Denise is 50, deaf and mute since birth, but this month she has been hospitalized for three weeks, receiving treatment for ovarian cancer.

Henry knows that at the hospital or at home, even the tiniest of devices could mean life or death, which is why he was so upset over a signal button, apparently stolen from Denise’s apartment door.

“Oh, it’s dire important,” he said. “If something happened to her … she wouldn’t know it.”

The button triggers a light on the inside, which is how Denise knows there’s someone outside. Henry made the discovery and reported it to the apartment complex’s management and police.

But there’s been no fix, and really no idea how or why anybody would be so cruel. Whoever took the button is no longer as important as getting a new one. Henry believes his daughter’s life depends on it.

If you were near The Bluffs on Tuesday and saw something suspicious, call Hopewell Crime Solvers at 541-2202.

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