On Sunday, during the Chiefs-Broncos game at Arrowhead Stadium, Kyle VanWinkle went to the parking lot and got into an unlocked Jeep that he apparently thought was the one he had come in. A short time later, the vehicle's owner arrived and found Mr. VanWinkle inside the vehicle. A struggle ensued. Mr. VanWinkle was knocked unconscious and was taken to the hospital, where he died later.
Original reports stated that it appeared that Mr. VanWinkle had broken into the Jeep that he was found in. One report, by Fox 4 News can be found here: http://fox4kc.com/2013/12/02/arrowhead-death-witnesses-say-man-was-no-bu.... Reading the comments left after the news report show many different opinions about what had occurred. Sources close to the VanWinkle family say that Kyle VanWinkle was a good person, involved in sports, and a "normal guy." His death makes no sense and is hard for them to deal with.
All of this brings to the surface a couple of things: the effects of alcohol and how judgmental people can be. Arrowhead Stadium was a very popular place on Sunday, with a huge crowd in attendance for the game between two big rivals--the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos. The game was originally scheduled to begin at noon, but due to television broadcast scheduling, the game start time was moved to 3:25pm. This allowed for a long time to tailgate prior to the game, especially for those who were not aware of the game time change (and there were quite a few). Alcohol is generally a part of tailgating.
Alcohol can be a fun part of enjoying the game, but it can have dangerous effects. It can impair the decision-making process, have bad effects on the body, and changes behavior. How much of a part alcohol played in this death is unknown at the present time. The police need to work on their investigation and the medical examiners need to receive the autopsy results before very much will be known in this regard. Proverbs 20:1-3 says, "Drinking too much makes you loud and foolish. It's stupid to get drunk. Fear an angry king as you would a growling lion; making him angry is suicide. Any fool can start arguments; the honorable thing is to stay out of them," (Good News Bible, 1978, New York, NY: American Bible Society). Alcohol sold within the stadium is limited to the patrons who purchase it at the concession stands. What is brought into the parking lots could probably be considered unlimited. It's a good thing to party and have a good time; but when it comes at the expense of another, it is different thing altogether.
People who are aware that Kyle VanWinkle was the son of a police officer have made very rude and negative comments about the family and the idea that the father did not raise his son right. The first reports said that it "appeared" that VanWinkle had broken into the vehicle. People jumped on this and ran with it. More recent reports show that the vehicle was unlocked. It is up to the court system to judge--not ours. Beyond the courts, judgment should be left to God. It is not our place to judge others. Matthew 7:1-2 says, "Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you, for God will judge you in the same way you judge others, and he will apply to you the same rules you apply to others," (Good News Bible, 1978, New York, NY: American Bible Society). Life is much easier when we don't judge one another. We are all God's children. He created each of us an individuals and we each have trials and tribulations to deal with. Life does not treat each of us in the same way. We should be concerned with judging ourselves in such a way as to making ourselves better and not pointing fingers at others.
It is with great sadness that this article is written. Kyle VanWinkle grew up in Belton, Missouri. His current residence was in Smithville, Missouri. This was a senseless death that occurred in a place where people go to have a good time; not to die. May we extend our sympathy and prayers for peace for the VanWinkle family and to all who witnessed this horrible tragedy.