July 02, 2011


Yesterday morning started out great. The kids were riding their bikes, and I actually found a 5-leaf clover. Yes, 5 leaves! I've found many 4-leaf clovers in my life, but this was definitely the first 5-leaf clover I've ever seen...

Brought the kids to their Safety City class (the last class, thank goodness). While they were in class, I decided to walk into town and find a little restaurant for lunch. I walked in the 85 degree heat (in my jeans and cute top) about 1.5 miles and there actually weren't any restaurants right in the heart of town, which surprised me. I thought there'd at least be a diner or something. I just walked back to the car, and was sweating like a beast by this time. Drove to Panera (ugh, just went there the day before). Had a bagel and iced tea. Then went to a frozen custard place and got fat-free sugar-free ice cream before picking up the kids.

The kids went to my parents house for dinner, and Jerry was off work, so we decided to go out. We went to a coney island, and it was SO GOOD. I hadn't eaten there in a couple of years. I got a Patty Melt and deep fried mushrooms, which I shared with Jerry. After we ate, we decided to go to Wal-Mart to get a couple of snacks to bring on the boat with us. The fireworks were at 10 pm, and my parents always take us out in the boat to watch the fireworks over the water.

At Wal-Mart, I saw something that shook me to the core.

Jerry and I saw a display of suckers, and we were picking out which flavors our kids might like, when I heard a little boy (probably about 3 years old) crying kind of hysterically, yelling a name (we'll say 'Michael'... I don't want to use the real name). His mom was yelling for Michael also, looking very worried. I said to Jerry, "Jerry, they're looking for their kid--let's help find him! He's probably scared to death."  I have two little boys, so I know how terrifying that can be for both parent and child.

We were at the front of the store, near the women's section of clothes. I was standing on my toes, trying to see over the racks of clothes to see if I could find this little boy. A moment later, a boy of about 4 or 5 was in front of me. I said, "Are you Michael?" with a smile. And out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man (his dad? Mom's boyfriend? whatever) run up to him, I thought to give him a hug (which is what I would have done in that situation!)  Instead he yanked the boy's arm, and the boy fell on the ground. Then the dad, using his FIST, started BEATING the boy in the back (who had curled into a ball on the ground). He was yelling something about staying with them, and not getting lost.

I started screaming, I don't really remember what I was screaming, something about how he (the boy) didn't do anything wrong. Jerry flipped out too, yelling "What the hell is your problem?" etc. Jerry and I were causing such a scene that other people started looking. The man knew he fucked up, you could see it in his face. He got quieter and picked the boy up and threw him in the shopping cart. Then they stood in line to pay. I was trembling and hysterical at what I just saw. It was NOT a "spanking", or even borderline. The man was truly BEATING his little boy. I told Jerry to call the police.

There were tons of people around, but everyone kind of averted their eyes, like it was none of their business. Well, fuck all of them--they are just as bad as the boys father, as far as I'm concerned. There were 2 other people that came up to Jerry and I and were very disturbed by the incident too. We all stood outside waiting for the police. I saw the family leaving, and I followed them to their car. I wrote down the license plate number. The police took almost an hour to show up--seriously. The other two witnesses had left, but I said I'll wait all night if I have to. When the cop showed up, we gave a statement and the license plate number, and then we left. The cop said he was going to view the footage of the surveillance video.

We then went to the kids graduation from Safety City. I was still very shaken up and couldn't stop thinking about what happened. When we were at the boat docks, about to get in the boat, my cell rang and it was the cop. He said he wanted to let me know that he followed up on the incident, and the man was actually on probation for domestic assault! The cop had checked out the little boy, and said he had older bruising around his waist. The dad told the cop it was because the two boys wrestle with each other. The dad also said that he gave his son a "light spanking" at the store. The cop (who has seen these cases numerous times) could see right through the lies. He said that Child Protective Services will be out to check out the house, and the man's probation officer is going to get the report. Most likely, the cop said the man will wind up in court (and we could get subpoenaed).

I'm SO GLAD that we spoke up for the little boy and that we waited around for the police to give a statement. I'm very glad that the cop actually followed up on it and that he called to let me know that he did. I'm extremely angry at all the bystanders who did absolutely nothing except avert their eyes while a little boy was beaten. And I really hope that the asshole gets what he deserves. I wish the boys' mom would leave him, but you could see she was scared and embarrassed about the whole thing.

Anyway, I felt a little better after the cop called. We went out on the boat and fished a little (I caught 5--but mostly silver bass, which we don't keep), then watched the fireworks. By the time we got home is was midnight, which is late for me. Today is definitely back to normal as far as food goes. I ate way too much yesterday.
Eli, fishing

Gorgeous sunset

Have you ever witnessed something in which you had to call the police? Today's incident was, by far, the worst for me.


  1. Wow that is really, really scary! I'm glad you guys called the police, and that CPS is actually doing something about it. It makes me so sad when CPS doesn't do anything. They don't take action here - not funded well enough and very short staffed, I guess. My best friend's sister is constantly beating up her daughter, who's a tween, and constantly on drugs, and the whole family reports this constantly, but they call it all "hearsay" and refuse to listen to any of us who have called it in. It's horrible. I'm glad there were more witnesses who came forward too and cameras, so that the bastard can really be nailed for what he did. No one should beat up a child like that!!

  2. Yikes, what an upsetting event to see. If the guy is willing to do that in public, what does he do in private? Euh.
    I have been in a similar situation, although it wasn't a child. At like 8pm on a Saturday night, I was going back to my car in a parking garage when I heard a woman screaming "help me, help me, someone call the police"- when I could get to a place where I could see what was going on, I saw an older guy holding this woman (who turned out to be a barely 18 year old girl..) against a wall, and she was desperately trying to get away. I wasn't really sure what was going on, but by the way she was screaming, I knew I had to call the police.
    Mind you, this is 8pm on a saturday in a BUSY PLACE. Tons of people walked by while I was there. I stayed and watched until the police showed up, then I felt ok to leave.
    Like 3 weeks later I got a call from a detective with the police department, they needed me to testify at the trial because the guy was a career offender, basically. The detective told me I was one of ONLY TWO PEOPLE who called 911 that night.
    The guy ended up pleading guilty so I didn't have to testify, but I still can't believe only TWO PEOPLE out of everyone that walked by called.

    My opinion is that having to testify might be a pain in the butt, but it's sooooo important.

  3. I have been reading your blog for a few weeks, very inspirational! Ready this I knew I had to reply. This post made me cry. It very sad that domestic violence goes on every day and more people do not report it. Thank you for reporting this person. People need to realize one person can make a different, more so one it comes to domestic violence. If someone will beat their child in a store what would they do if they where in the privacy of their home?! My mother, myself and 3 siblings where subject to domestic violence from my father. My mother took it for 26 years, I left when I was 17 and then assisted my mom to leave with my 3 younger siblings. Many people saw my father abuse us, or saw odd bruises but no one reported it. So as you can see it is a cause close to my heart. I would rather be too careful and report something to he police then not, within reason. A few years ago I reported my new neighbors to the police as I heard the man yelling and then screaming he was going to kill his wife. They police can within minutes. The man was arrested for domestic violence, he had broken his wives ribs,and he went to jail for 6 months. His wife moved away and I was told filed for divorce.

    Thank you for your post.

  4. Good for you calling the police! I would have been shaking too, and I don't even have kids. Usually when I call the police, it is on the road for drunk drivers. I always get so frustrated because the operator will be like, "you're leaving our jurisdiction, let me transfer you." It is so frustrating. One time it was a Saturday in the middle of the day and I was on an hour and a half drive. About 40 minutes from my destination, there was this truck in front of me swerving. I thought, "oh maybe they're just on their cell phone not paying attention." The swerving got worse though and the driver would fluctuate speeds from like 50-80 mph on the highway. He was swerving between 3 lanes, and almost hit other cars multiple times. I was shaking because I was afraid someone would get hurt. I stayed a decent distance behind him and called the police. They transferred me twice, and finally I said please get me on the phone with the state police! They finally put someone out, and told me to tell them when they saw a police officer. They pulled him over and asked for me to pull over behind the officer so he could get my information in case they needed it. My cousin and I drove by a little later, and the truck was being towed. I don't know what happened to the guy, but I was thankful they were able to pull him over before someone got seriously hurt!

  5. Wow, I can't believe you saw that! Or that someone would do it to begin with - I will never understand folks who hurt kids. :\

  6. oh my gosh Katie that is so scary. I feel shaky just reading about it. Thank you so much for sticking up for that little guy and calling the police. Shame on the bystanders who are so sick they can turn away from a man beating a small child. It's disgusting. As adults we have a responsibility to protect children..ALL children, not just our own.
    I hope this guy gets what is coming to him. A stint in jail marked as a child and wife beater should do the trick. I've heard the other inmates don't like that much...
    I had to call the child protection authority once on my upstairs neighbour who was verbally thrashing his young children when his wife was at work (possibly physically too but I couldn't see that) the yelling and swearing and threats brought tears to my eyes, but I had to do something so I called. They interviewed the family and came to the home, but it went no further. I often feel sad for those little ones. I'm sure the abuse continued.

  7. oh my gosh! I can't believe what that guy did, I probably would have started crying. I'm glad you had your husband there to support you, I'm not sure what I would have done if I would have seen that! So, so sad.

  8. You amaze me more and more as I read your posts. You are truly such a caring person! It breaks my heart how we live in a society that finds it so easy to just turn the other cheek and most people do not want the burden of being involved. Most people would not have waited an hour for the police to show up. You are such a kind person. I'm glad where you live actually does something about child abuse. Where I live the police and social service people are just as bad as the people we call them on. About 2 years ago we got granted custody of my baby cousin. She had tons of cigarette burns all over her when we got her and both of her wrists were broken. She was practically starved and had the most horrible rash all over her bottom from never having any diaper changes. Her parents both have known records where I live, yet it took us reporting them a good 20 times before they took her away from her parents. We had custody of her for 10 months and then they got her back. It broke my heart! Do you know how they got her back? By taking anger classes! That is it. They were ordered to do all kinds of things; pass urine tests (which they FAILED all the time), get jobs, get current licenses, vehicles, a stable home, and take the court ordered classes. They completed the classes only and the judge said that sufficed. Even when they would have their visitations with her they would be so fucked up out of their mind. We would call the police and the only thing they would do was make them leave the visitation. The judge dismissed the police reports when we went to court of them being messed up during visitations. Such a sad situation!

  9. AnonymousJuly 02, 2011

    That little boy has no idea how lucky he was that you were in Wal-mart that night. Hopefully now he will be removed from that situation! Disgusting!

  10. Alyssa (loveunderlined on Spark)July 03, 2011

    You were the boy's hero today. If that guy is willing to beat him in public, think about what he could do (or probably already has done) in private. Absolutely horrifying. And I'm pleasantly surprised with your experience with the police. Very good that they are taking it seriously.

  11. AnonymousJuly 03, 2011

    How awful! But good for you for calling the police and standing up for that little boy. I too am glad that the police really are doing something and followed up with you.

  12. AnonymousJuly 03, 2011

    I already knew you had a sense of humor, a feisty spirit and an amazing way with words. Now I know you also have wings.

    Thank you for caring, for speaking out and for making a difference. Our child came into our lives after many years of neglect and terrible abuse. The only thing that will ever change things for these innocent babes is someone like you (or me) who makes an intentional decision to speak up and demand decency.

  13. That's awful! Parents should be the protectors. That kid is probably so damaged. I did my undergrad internship with boys with sexual behavior problems and boys with severe behavior disorders, and all of them were abused when they were younger. Reading their files made me cry. It's awful what some parents are capable of doing to their children. Good for you for standing up for a boy who has no one else to stand up for him. Imagine that boy's life. Imagine what he'll be like as an adult if no one intervenes in a big way.

  14. OMG! I so would have hit the dad! I can not stand for people to be abusive to their kids. I know my kids make me mad, but something like this would never cross my mind.

    Hopefully child services will remove all of the children from the home. Keep them as far away from him as possible.

  15. Good for you for standing up for that poor boy! I can't imagine how scary that would be. I would definitely say something- that's just wrong. I have no words... some people should not be allowed to have kids!

  16. AnonymousJuly 06, 2011

    I would have been shaken too! Good for you for standing up for that poor child. I've never had to call the cops for that, but I did for drunk driving. It was the morning of homecoming at my college and all the school organizations were lining up for the parade. Some idiot swerved into the parking lot totally trashed and hit a pole. He got out of the car and asked me and a friend of mine where to put his car. We could smell alcohol on his breath. We left my group and told them to watch him while we walked over to the parade route and got a cop. They came over and the guy went running. They caught him and had us ID that it was him. We had to go to court (about a year later) to testify, but he ended up pleading out right before we had to testify (he probably was waiting to see if me and my friend would show up). No idea what happened, but we at least got the drunk off the road.

  17. While I was waiting for my child to be seen at the pediatrician's office I saw a mother smack her child upside the head, beat him on the back and she even dragged him by the arm. The child was obviously developmentally challenged and had features that were consistent with fetal alcohol syndrome. He was not even acting up in the office. I told the nurse at the desk what she was doing and they called DSS. The nurse came out and asked who would be willing to be a whiteness and thankfully the two other women that were in thee stepped up with me. When I went to leave after seeing the doctor the child had locked himself in his mother's vehicle and would not let her in. They were in the process of trying to convince him to let her in. I just said he is probably scared you will beat him again. The mother said nothing... DSS called me and I gave a statement, but that was the last I heard about it. I don't believe anything was done because I have seen he with him again.

  18. This post brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing and hopefully your post will give some one the courage to do something if they ever see abuse. WAY TO GO!!!

  19. I teared up as well.
    Good for you! Doing the right thing.
    I had to call the police for my last car, after parking it on the street one day after work, I went out the next day-only to find someone had set it on fire! It had burned itself out during the night thank goodness. It ended up being totaled-no surprise. But the cop said that I shouldn't expect them to find anything.


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