Friday, August 24, 2012

“God told me you were coming…”

Social media is going crazy for the last couple of days. The death of a six month old child naturally stirs emotions. Some of those emotions go over the top.
Everyone is asking ‘how could that happen’? I’m sure that no one feels that more acutely than the parents who are involved in incidents like this.
A commenter on the blog left this link to a Washington Post story dealing with parents who have left their children, resulting in their death. It takes a few minutes to read but is worth it to gain some insight. The common thread that I picked up is that each parent firmly believed they had left their child at the proper place, daycare or whatever.
It is food for thought.
My Facebook friend Jo posted last night that she had an experience that was very similar in some ways, but that had a good outcome in the end. She published it last year on her blog.
She has graciously allowed me to reprint it in full.
I’m a Mom, a mother, a snuggler, kid-is-center-of-my-world, protector…being a mommy... it is my purpose.   It’s why I was put on this earth… to bring two incredible young men into the world. About 10 years ago I was a single Mom living in Marshall, Texas in a lil trailor on the side of HWY 80. (Sounds like a country song, right? My every moment with Jake was about Jake.    I kept my "single woman" and "single mom" roles SEPARATE.   Jake only ever met two men that I dated… and I married one of them. My friends always asked the same question before asking me to go somewhere with them, “Hey, Do you have Jake this weekend?” Because if the answer was “yes” they knew I had plans.   I had a Friday night date with a blonde haired, blued young fellow who was a messy eater and always stuck me with the bill. But… he was a good snuggler… so I didn’t mind.
The whole point of this is, I never understood how someone could “forget” their kid at a store, at home, in a car... Until… I did that very thing. 
I did the unthinkable. I “forgot” him at home.  I worked 12 hour shifts, so sometimes if I’d worked a bunch on “my” nights, his Dad and I would swap up a night.There was a schedule switch, I didn’t normally have him that night of the week. I got up for work and didn’t see him in bed next to me (and like all Mommy’s boys he slept with his Mommy) , this did not strike me as odd. (Later he told me he woke up on the couch, and I saw a little blanket there… the set up of the trailer… I never had to “pass” by the couch to get showered, dressed or leave out the front door for work)  So... I went to work… in Shreveport… Shreveport, LOUISIANA!!!!… ANOTHER STATE!!! 
His father calls me at work… asking why I didn’t bring Jake (he watched him while I worked). I assured him HE had Jake, it was HIS night… then it hit me. HARD. I had Jake… and OMG where was he this morning??? I didn’t see him in bed with me. My knees buckled. . My friend Paula was standing there, she said I turned a whitish gray. His father and I both said we’d rush over there.
As I’m leaving, I began calling the Sheriff’s department to send someone there. I recall another employee telling me, don’t do that... you’ll be in trouble for leaving him. I looked at her like she was from Mars. I just wanted my son safe. I lived on a highway. I’d left my 3yr old home alone!!! ME!!! I DID THAT!!! THE MOMMY!!! 
My heart was exploding as I ran to my truck and began to drive that way. I called the Harrison county sheriff’s department. They kept me on the phone for my entire drive. I was so upset, they kept telling me to calm down so I don’t wreck. I barely recall the drive… I was pretty much in hysterics. God must have been steering…. Because I could barely see the road for all the emotions. And all I wanted to know was that my son was ok… “Is he there yet?” I must have said, ”Oh My God” a hundred times. They assured me that the sheriff got there and my Jake was ok… I think I cried harder. 
I arrive and the sheriff and Jake’s father were already there… Jake had let the sheriff in. 
Jake’s eyes were red. I could tell he’d been crying. 
After the sheriff left..  I hugged him and kissed him and apologized a billion times (Jake, not the officer... sheesh!!!)  I asked Jacob, “What did you do?” 
Jake told us that he woke up and didn’t see me and looked out the window for my truck. And he kept looking,” because Mommy’s always come back” (Yeah… that made my eyes water again) He told us that he was thirsty and tried to open a bottle of water and couldn’t. “So, I threw a fit right there” (as he pointed to the middle of the living room floor… had to smile at his wording and the way he pointed when he told us this) I told him how sorry I was and I know he was scared. 
Jacob then said,” It’s OK… God told me you were coming”
Ummmmm… I had not introduced any type of religion into this 3yr olds life. He’d never been inside a church. I have faith… and prayed a lot. But, had not exposed my son to religion. 
 I asked Jake, ”God?”   He said, “Well, maybe God… he told me that you and daddy were coming”. I said, “Jake, someone talked to you?” He said, ”Yes, he told me you were coming and I would be OK and not to cry” I was at a loss as to what to say. Jake bubbled on… and told us he stopped crying and...he just sat there...and waited.... the policeman knocked on the door and he was OK. 
I didn’t question him more. It was kind of like the cemetery thing. I didn’t really need or want to know more. 
All I know is an angel helped my son in his time of need. That my Jake was so pure of heart and open minded… he could “see” what many of us are “blind” to everyday.
“God told me you were coming…”

Thursday, August 23, 2012

6 month old dies in tragic accident

I certainly hate writing about this, and only do it in the hope that it might raise some awareness.
A 6 month old little girl was found dead this afternoon in her father's SUV at LSUHSC. Her father works at the hospital and apparently left here there when he got to work this morning. 
My first great-grandchild is a 6 month old, sweet Miss Gabby; my youngest granddaughter is 16 months old. 
I can't imagine what this family is going through.
This isn't going to be judgmental. Although I, and most of you, can't comprehend how this could happen, I'm sure that until today the father couldn't have understood it either.
The same thing happened a few years ago with a 2 year old at General Motors. In that case, the father left the child in the car for several hours until he realized that he had not left him at daycare.
I could ramble on about this, but I won't. The point of my remarks is to point out that there are simple solutions.
First, the government has started a program called Look Before You Lock. Simple to do and a good habit to develop.
But to really ensure that this doesn't happen, an alarm system is available.
It is called the ChildMinder Smart Clip System
It costs $69.95 and takes about three minutes to install. It is activated when the child is strapped into their carseat, and is deactivated when the seat belt is released. If the driver gets more than 15 feet from the vehicle without releasing the seat belt it sends an alarm.
If you have a young child, order one today. I know we never think it will happen to us, and this is a way to be sure.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Scott Tubbs charged with Aggravated Incest

I first blogged about Scott Tubbs in January of 2011. Tubbs, owner of a local used appliance store, had announced that he would be a candidate for President of the United States. Here’s that blog post.
Rollin' with the Big Dawgs
Tubbs became a little less funny last May when he made a spectacle of himself at the scene of a suicide. That one is here:
Self Promotion on the back of a family's grief
Now, anything about this guy that made us laugh (or snicker) has disappeared. 
Tubbs has been charged with aggravated incest after an investigation by Bossier Juvenile authorities. He is accused of having sexual contact with an underage female relative.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Trey Hutchison: In remembrance

It has been eight years since Bossier City Police Officer Trey Hutchison was killed in the line of duty. I hope we never forget.

"A Police Officer's Prayer"
Lord, I ask for courage ~ 
Courage to face and conquer my own fears ...
Courage to take me where others will not go ...
I ask strength ~ Strength of body to protect others,
and strength of spirit to lead others ...
I ask for dedication ~Dedication to my job, to do it well,
Dedication to my community, to keep it safe ...
 Give me, Lord, concern for those who trust me,
and compassion for those who need me ...
And please, Lord, through it all,
be at my side ...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

BCPD promotes two

Bossier City Police Chief Shane McWilliams promoted two officers to Sergeant.
Scott Gray and Bernard Grant are both assigned to patrol.
Sincere congratulations to both.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The difficult case of Marvin Young

Marvin Young was arrested in 2010 and charged with the rape of a mentally handicapped woman. He was charged with aggravated rape. His wife, Glenda, was charged as an accessory.
The case has gone through all the usual pre-trial meetings, discovery and status conferences that these things go through. The court ruled that a statement made by Young to police would be admissible in court. Of course, we don’t know what was in that statement.
The case finally ended this week with a plea of guilty to Criminal Trespass. Young, who was facing life in prison, was sentenced to time served and is a free man today.
The problem was that the victim did not want to testify and that her mother wanted the charges to be dropped.
The victim has had some setbacks. In the last couple of years she has shown erratic behavior, coming up missing a couple of times with the family appealing to local media to help locate her.
In her first visit to court, according to DA Schuyler Marvin, she had a complete breakdown. Marvin said that without the testimony of the victim, it would be impossible to get a conviction.
DA Marvin told KSLAWe have traveled to Bienville Parish to meet with the victim and her mother, I've sent numerous subpoenas to them, I know what their position is, I've known this for a year and a half now
When asked if he tried hard enough Marvin responded, "Everything short of putting a mentally handicapped person in a set of handcuffs, putting her mother in a set of handcuffs, putting her in a patrol car and bringing them up here."
Considering the victim’s handicap, I don’t know that her testimony could have been compelled by the state. If it could have been, would it have resulted in a conviction, even at the price of possibly sending an already troubled person into an even worse state?
No easy answers to this one.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Haughton man tries to carjack U.S. Marshals

Joshua Carter, 25, (of Haughton of course), decided he was going to jack a vehicle in downtown Shreveport yesterday afternoon.
Now I don't know what thought processes (if any) a person goes through to come up with the brilliant idea to attempt to carjack the black SUV with the blacked out windows. I mean, who could have guessed?
When Carter tried the door handles and beat on the windows, three members of a U.S. Marshal's task force bailed out of the vehicle and arrested him.
I haven't awarded one of these in a while, but Mr. Carter truly deserves it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sorry punk beats 4 year old, Mom ignores

A four year old child is in critical condition after undergoing brain surgery at LSUHSC yesterday afternoon. She was abused by her mother’s live-in boyfriend, Joshua Hastings, who claimed that he ‘accidentally’ struck her in the head with his knee, knocking her out. He also admitted to beating her with a belt on July 26th and hitting her in the head and face on July 27th.
So the girl’s mother, Rebecca Smith, in her infinite wisdom, left him to babysit the child and two others yesterday.  Smith was also arrested for failing to get medical attention for the child. Both Hastings and Smith face charges for Possession of Marijuana, Drug Paraphernalia and three counts of a controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a minor. Here is a little background on Hastings.
On the Civil side Hastings’ former girlfriend, with whom he has a child, filed for a protective order on May 8, 2008. She alleged that on April 30, 2008 he:
‘came to my house broke in a window knocked on the door got back in a window. Then I preceded (sic) to the bedroom not knowing he was there. The window was open, his boots were on the ground. I turned around turned the light on he was behind the door. Some yelling occurred he went towards the door, said he was (illegible) after revenge. He threatened the other person who was at my residence finally he left after I called the police’.
As to past incidents, she alleged:
‘There was a charge of Domestic Violence around December of 2006.
There have been several times in which I thought I was in danger. He drove off in my vehicle when I was still on it when I was pregnant, he slammed the on my head. He mentally manipulated & abused me, he choked me so hard I passed out, one time I told him I didn’t want to have intercourse he did it anyways.’
She was granted an order of protection until November 20, 2009.
The order was dismissed at the girlfriend’s request on July 9, 2009.
‘Josh and I have reconciled and are on better terms. We feel we have both grown and learned from our past. We are civil now I feel no threat towards him. I would like to join back into a relationship with him. I feel that this would also benefit the child that we share.’
Apparently this rosy scenario didn’t work out, because now he is abusing someone else. Hastings and his girlfriend both filed for custody, but it was continued and never pursued.
Not in chronological order. On the Domestic Violence charge mentioned in the application for the protective order, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail and given credit for time served.
On December 8, 2005, he was charged with Possession of Marijuana, paraphernalia, speeding and driving under suspension. He was fined $500 and 90 days probation.
In mid-2008 he was charged with two counts of unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling, that of his girlfriend with whom he had a child. This was while he was under the order of protection and a year before she asked for it to be dismissed.
He was sentenced to 3 years, suspended, and 3 years probation. He later violated the terms of probation, and was ordered by Judge Craig to serve the original sentence, with credit for any time already served.
In June of 2011 he was charged with Possession of Marijuana and Oxycodone. On December 6th he was sentenced to five years, suspend all but one year, with credit for time served. He is currently still on probation.
I would like to offer a couple of other comments about these women who enable a thug like this, but I will refrain; after all, a 4 year old is in peril and that should receive our attention at the moment.