WHEN I was 16, I was caught urinating on a school wall by two highway cops. I tried to run but was caught. After sporting an attitude, I was slapped around by the officers and brought home. I was smiling, thinking of how my father was going to give it to these two thug cops for hitting his kid.

But when I got home, and the cops told my pop what I did and why my face was a little bruised, not only did my pop hit me, he did it in front of the two hulking cops. After that, I never took a chance of doing anything that would warrant such a beating or embarassment.

Maybe if Joshua Pagan's mother (or father) focused more on why her son was out selling drugs or roaming the streets, she wouldn't have to worry about an alleged beating by cops. If they don't want to help set their own child straight, then who will? The system?

And how about David Vernitsky, the wedding tag artist. Here we have a man well over the age of responsibility spray-painting some innocent person's property (who will now have to pay to get it cleaned). Maybe if Officer Hill and Officer Fitzgerald would've broke his hands, he would do a double-take everytime he picked up another can of paint.

Mr. Vernitsky, if I tagged the front of your house, what would you do if you caught me? With all the crying about drugs and teens running the streets all hours of the night, and when the cops catch one doing exactly that, we want to punish them. I always got the message from a good beating, and if people want to act like animals, there is only one way to treat them.

Andrew J. Dankanich, Philadelphia

To all the letter writers who gripe about Al Sharpton all the time:

1. Where were all these letters when the black female officer was killed at the bank years ago? Isn't an officer an officer?

2. If 13 black cops stomped 3 white suspects coming from a meth lab or a tavern, would your leader (the FOP, you know, YOUR Al Sharpton) come to their defense?

3. Where's Al Sharpton when white priests molest young white men in churches?

4. Why is it a tragedy when a white kid shoots up a whole school or college? Isn't he a thug?

Laurence Barberra

Philadelphia

The real oil solutions

President Bush went to Saudi Arabia to ask them to step up oil production to reduce the price, as if they would put a stop to such a good thing.

But the place to go is Canada, and ask them, with our help, to increase the output from oil shale, where they have a 2,000-year supply and advise oil companies here that that if they don't start making gasoline from

coal, the government will set up the refineries to do so. There's a 600-year supply of coal worldwide (250 here), and coal can be removed from the ground about seven times faster than crude oil.

J.R. Monroe, Philadelphia