Saturday, August 1, 2009

You Decide The Punishment

Today I read the most distressing item on the CBC news website:

A woman who alerted police to two young children left in a sealed van for hours may have saved their lives, Abbotsford police said Saturday. Police said they were doing routine checks at about 1 a.m. PT at the Abbotsford Agrifair when a distressed woman alerted them that two children, ages two and four months, had been left in a van for hours while their father was drinking at the Fat Pig Saloon. Const. Ian MacDonald said the car was locked, all of the windows were closed and the children were in grave condition.

"They were extremely distressed, as you can imagine. They're still awake and they're in a locked vehicle probably with strange surroundings … they had soiled their diapers and they were extremely dehydrated," he said. "So even on a summer night — we know we're in the middle of a heat wave here — it was probably still in the upper 20s and low 30s (80s and 90s F) outside, so you can imagine the heat inside the vehicle."

It was not immediately clear how long the children had been in the van, but one witness said the engine was cold and it was believed they had been left there for several hours. Both children were taken to a local hospital, where they were deemed to be doing well other than being dehydrated. The children have been placed in the care of the Ministry of Children and Families, police said. No charges have been laid against the father, 26, an Abbotsford resident. Police say the children's mother was also out Friday night, but it's unclear whether she and the father were together. Their investigation continues.

The RCMP officer who was holding the four-month old infant, was incredibly sweet and gentle with him, while the terrified baby sobbed uncontrollably in his arms. You can tell by the look on the officer's face it is something he will never forget. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to decide what punishment should be meted out to the idiot villain father who would put his children in such danger and distress. And don't hold back -- use your imagination...

Addendum: this was not a case of the father forgetting his children were in the car. After he had been drinking for some time, he told his drinking buddies that he had to "check on his kids in the parking lot". He knew they were there, all the while that he was drinking.


ZeldaMom said...

We've had cases like that in Minnesota also, but the children haven't been so lucky. One man was suppossed to drop his baby at daycare, but FORGOT and drove to work, he then FORGOT that his baby was in the carseat in the back of the van, then as he was working away at his 'most very important job', he still FORGOT. He didn't remember until a man parking his car noticed the baby in the back of the van and called the police. The father said he was 'stressed' over work, and just FORGOT.
Maybe they should be forgotten, locked in a hot metal box, while their brains cook. It's unthinkable!

The Bug said...

We had the same thing happen in Cincinnati - the mother forgot to take her toddler to daycare & left her strapped in her carseat in the back of the van - the little girl died. The mom was a vice principal of a school! I really do think in this case her overwhelming grief & guilt were punishment enough - we couldn't have done anything to her that would make her feel more regret than she was already feeling.

BUT, in the case of a near miss where the children didn't die I really think some sort of punishment should be meted out - so the idiots don't think they can do it again! And, really, jail time might be the wakeup call they need.

Avril Fleur said...

The punishment? An eye for an eye. Give him some of the same. Lock him in a car in the blazing sun for hours, with no food, water or washroom breaks. That's what! F*cking b@stard! Nothing makes me more angry than hearing of child abuse. Especially this kind of senseless thing by the very person who is supposed to protect these children!!! Grrrr!

Alissa said...

Maybe they should be forced to spend their weekend evenings doing community service at a children's hospital for awhile, instead of going out drinking while leaving their kids locked up in a car. They could be on dirty diaper patrol or clean the bathrooms or something.

PurestGreen said...

I agree with Avril. He should be locked in a car with the windows up on a hot day. Strapped into a seat. In a diaper. Perhaps give him some constipation meds beforehand.

nomore said...

Oh, how could they were...

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Just leave him alone with the squirrel mafia for a couple of hours. We know what to do with nuts.

the walking man said...

Mandatory sterilization for both parents and a few years in prison for pops and adoption into a nurturing home for the kids.

Of course the father was drinking at the pub that had been named after him: "... father was drinking at the Fat Pig Saloon..."

Country Girl said...

I can't even think straight. I have this image seared in my brain of a kindly officer holding a screaming baby.

Raevyn said...

Unfortunately, it happens on a relatively regular basis here in Texas, to the point that it doesn't even rate as major news anymore, unless it is the DAYCARE that didn't take the child out of the van after a field trip (yeah, no idea how you don't notice that there is still a child strapped in a seat when you've unstrapped the one beside him/her). Fortunately, I've not heard of any cases in the last month or so, which is unusual for the summer, but I'm happy about that.

Personally, I think any adult that puts their wants above the needs of the child/children should be strung up and publicly beaten. Around here it seems that about half the people get off with very little punishment other than their own guilt, the other half do some sort of jail time, hopefully in the facility in the area that has no air conditioning.

greenpanda said...

I just think we should bring back the death penalty. Simple as.

Prisons are overcrowded with human filth and yet we have homeless and other kinds of people who need our help, and we're spending millions on prisons. It's not right.

greenpanda said...

I just think we should bring back the death penalty. Simple as.

Prisons are overcrowded with human filth and yet we have homeless and other kinds of people who need our help, and we're spending millions on prisons. It's not right.

greenpanda said...

Sorry for the double.

Jennifer D said...

easy one, put him in a hot car for hours. Many hours.

Deb said...

Oh, that is very simple. Lock his sorry ass in a van for 24 hours without water, means to eliminate or food in the heat of the summer.

Russell said...

Interesting to hear this seems to happen more often than I thought. We have had a few cases of children being forgotten in cars here in Iowa. It is tragic.

One woman was a bank officer and drove straight to work without stopping at the daycare to drop off her infant. The infant died in the hot car as she was inside writing loans.

She was acquitted of criminal charges by a jury but she will spend the rest of her life in her own prison. I did feel sorry for her as it was truly unintentional -- unlike the irresponsible man in your post. We are all human but this man's conduct is inexcusable.

kenju said...

The sad fact is that there are millions of people who want to be parents, but children are given to louts like this. Crucifixion would be too kind, in my opinion. I'd make sure he never had another child.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for that lady who noticed the children and alerted the police!

As others have said, this happens far too often.

Patty said...

Yes, it happens way too often, and true, the parent probably has horrible nightmares and regrets, but they usually get off way to easy. They should be given a tate of what it's like, slowly cooking and not being able to breath.

I believe that vice principal had done that before, ( from The Bug's comment) if I'm not mistaken. And if so, you would think that she would have learned something. Here is a web site you can visit and read about the case
Read what Clermont County Prosecutor Don White said, which was this, White said it was a tragic accident, not a crime.

I say those kind of parents should definitely be made sterile, they don't deserve any children. They are way too selfish thinking only of themselves.

I can remember a case that happened several years back, two fathers, went to do some fishing, left two children strapped in their car seats, windows rolled up. When they got back to the car, the children were dead. They were too small to unbuckle their car seats and perhaps have been able to get down and open the car door. I remember reading where the older of the two children had actually pulled some of her own hair out, probably while being in a panic. When I read that I got sick to my stomach.

A human kind of human said...

I want to comment on this post and I want to join in thinking of suitable punishment for this man because he was out HAVING A GOOD TIME when this happened. This has also happened in South Africa and I must admit, I can understand how you can "forget" a child in a car if you are rushing around trying to be everything to every one, as has been the case in one such incident. Stress can play some awful tricks on you and short memory lapses is one of those tricks. I think one's brain has a built in mechanism to protect itself when it reaches an overload stage (as in certain stressful circumstances)by shutting out some thoughts. (I have in fact experienced such memoray lapses myself, but thanks to the Good Lord, never with such catestrohic results). I am not saying that these incidents should just be ignored or excused. I think what I am trying to say is that the result of such a lapse, could become a lifelong prison sentence for the parent if he or she cannot find it in themselves to forgive themselves. "There, but for the grace of God, goes I".

Charles Gramlich said...

set them down, show them some pictures of dead children who parents "forgot." Make them listen to the stories of parents who loved their kids but lost them. Over and over. Then ask 'em if they still want their children, and if they say they do maybe they'll do a better job. If not, get the kids out of the house fast enough to make the "parents' heads spin.

Deedee said...

Oh Good Lord, that is heinous. The worst thing I can think of for a parent who did this would be permanent removal of the children from their care forever. Being a parent is a priviledge and someone who violates this sacred trust like this should have their rights taken away permanently.

Marguerite said...

This incident and many others like it are so tragic. How does one FORGET that their children are locked in a hot vehicle? This is totally beyond my comprehension as I always knew where my children were, every minute of every day. If the child survives, I think the parents should lose parental rights to the child/children. And if they do not survive, then a lengthy prison term would be in order.

pranksygang said...

i think they should be left to clean the shit of cows , buffaloes , donkeys and make them bath and do all work till they die!!

I 'm sorry .. i might sound silly..

Cedar said...

I say lock him a car in the middle of a parking lot for 48 hours in 90 degree heat, if he makes it, he will come out a better father...if he doesn't...oh well.

An added nice touch would be a cooler of ice cold beers right there on the hood of the car for him to see....maybe people could pass by and pull one out and drink it and wave and smile at the guy in the car, just to be civil.

Cedar said...

Going for two here...I read the other comments...How do people FORGET they have their child in the car? It is not like a car is so huge that you can't see everything in it when you get out. If you glance in your rearview mirror while driving you are going to see the child in the rearview mirror...if you are that incrediably about a friggen post-it-note on computer...DID YOU REMEMBER YOUR OWN CHILD THIS MORNING?? WTF.

Land of shimp said...

Thank the universe for that woman in the parking lot, she saved their lives in more ways than one.

I'm confused as can be though, are there two mothers of these babies? Was this man babysitting his child and another (if there is only one mother involved)? I mean, it's not possible to have a two month old and a four month old unless, horror of horrors, they somehow managed to adopt!

So clearly there's some missing piece of information about how many partners/parents are involved, but it doesn't change a thing.

Here's the thing, there is not fitting punishment for what he did. He needs to be charged with depraved indifference, at the very least, and attempted murder. Ignorance is not a defense, and let's not forget on top of leaving babies to cook in a metal box, tiny helpless babies who would have died if a perfect stranger was not more responsible than their father, if the poor things had survived that? He planned on putting his drunk butt behind a wheel and driving them home.

So what is a fitting punishment? I have no idea, but please, please, please, no matter what happens, no matter whatever counseling he goes through, or amends he tries to make, never give him those children back under any circumstances. Not even for visitations.

There are some mistakes so grave you can't make up for them. I wouldn't do that to a dog. Hells bells, I wouldn't do that to a house plant!

Take away his parental rights forever, and put him in jail where he can't father any other children, for goodness sake.

Find those poor little things good homes where they will be loved taken care of, and protected. Never, ever let that man near them again. The mother is not off the hook in my head, even though there is likely more than one woman involved here, that man wasn't fit to pet sit, let alone care for infants.

As for his punishment? Let the universe grant him the understanding of precisely what he did, full understanding, and may he never know a moments peace or rest from this day forward.

Land of shimp said...

Think about this made me think of the Emily Dickinson poem I had a Guinea Golden

My story has a moral:
I have a missing friend, –
Pleiad its name, and robin,
And guinea in the sand, –
And when this mournful ditty,
Accompanied with tear,
Shall meet the eye of traitor
In country far from here,
Grant that repentance solemn
May seize upon his mind,
And he no consolation
Beneath the sun may find.

Yup, if I could mete out the punishment? That's where I'd start, I'd start with being able to snap my fingers, and have him fully understand what he's done.

Oh God, his babies were dying of dehydration while he was in a bar, drinking.

Drinking as they were dying of thirst. *shudder*

robert said...

Getting punished is only possible,if the actor understands his wrong-doing, therefore I'd like him to stop his drinking, e.g. being forced to attent AA meetings, additionally he should visit some social worker who would accompany the family for some time.
Being a father on my own, this entry of yours reminded me of how important it is to be on the lookout for other children as well.

Mariana Soffer said...

I can not thing nothing more horrendous to do to a child, those people should diserve some panishment, well at least they must learn, what is up with them? don't they have the slightest bit of empaty? are they total psychos? are they obsesssed with something that thakes their judgment aaway.
There is nothing more infuriating for me that harming or not taking proper care of a very small kid who is unable to defend himself by any medium. What is up with society, why do these things happen. Is it some kind of perversion, how does it trigger in people that need to do harm?

Owen said...

The Guillotine ? (On whichever part of his body you think appropriate... or maybe just show it to him, and say, "Next time this is what you get...")

Russell said...

With respect to Cedar, and I think the world of you, Cedar, a parent can actually get out a car and not realize their own child is in the car seat. It sounds crazy, yes, but it can happen.

The woman who was the bank officer never thought about her child being in the car seat because she was running on automatic pilot and figured she had dropped her child off at the daycare -- something she did every day.

The look on that mother's face was tragic and it is one I will never forget (and I have seen a lot of remorseful faces in court houses).

It was easy for us to say "how the hell could a mother forget her own child?!?!?" but, believe me, such things can happen. The child was sleeping in her car seat and, well, life happens.

I guarantee you that mother has not had a peaceful day since....

Land of shimp said...

It wasn't long after I logged off that I realized my confusion about the ages was groundless. The older child is a two-year-old, right? Oh God, how horrible. The poor thing stands a chance of remembering that :-(

Russel, for my part, I'm not talking about someone who forgot their child was in the backseat. As horrifying as that is, I think it can happen. I think part of the strong reaction people have is a fear-based response because of how desperately we all want to believe it can't happen, but it can.

I'm very lucky in that it never happened to me, but overly tired, overly extended people do function on auto-pilot.

This might not be comparable to most people -- and it truly isn't but it's just illustrative of how occasionally auto-pilot kicks in, and it endangers people -- about two weeks ago I made some oatmeal on my gas stove in the morning. When I went to make dinner that night, I discovered to my absolute horror that I'd left the burner on very, very low. Nothing terrible happened, I just thanked the universe for my good luck in not having anything tragic happen, and reminded myself to be more careful.

Here's the thing -- when I was twelve-years-old, I was actually in a house fire, I awoke to our house in flames. I wasn't injured at all, but I have a fear of house fires. But I two weeks ago I did something that frequently results in one.

My son is eighteen, and I was racking my brain trying to remember if I'd ever done anything even vaguely like that. In all honesty, no. Nothing like forgetting my son happened. But I can recall when he was six weeks old and I was dead tired forgetting a whole host of things not related to him. Being out and forgetting entirely to go to the grocery store, for instance. Then getting home and realizing, "Oh yeah, we've basically haven't a morsel in the house." and having to head right back out.

Sleep deprivation in particular can just kick a person's butt. So I do agree with you, Russel.

It's just that this guy's case doesn't have anything to do with that. He didn't forget. He wanted to behave as if he didn't have the responsibility of two children. He made a conscious choice.

Nancy said...

Send him to that sheriff in Texas who makes the prisoners work, and live without any amenities such as air conditioning. Let him be a guest for several years.

No charges filed??

lovelyprism said...

He had money for beer, but not enough for a babysitter? That's just wrong on so many levels. I think he should be locked in the car for several days.

A.M. said...

I am disgusted with people who don't take their parenting responsibility seriously. These kids without a doubt should now be closely monitored.

As a parent, I hope this man is forced into parenting classes, and into a detox program ASAP. Then he should loose his rights. The decisions aren't up to me. I try not to judge people, but I was in Chilliwack just a little ways from Abbotsford and I know how unbearable it was. Poor babies. Thank God they are okay.

A.M. said...

I am disgusted with people who don't take their parenting responsibility seriously. These kids without a doubt should now be closely monitored.

As a parent, I hope this man is forced into parenting classes, and into a detox program ASAP. Then he should loose his rights. The decisions aren't up to me. I try not to judge people, but I was in Chilliwack just a little ways from Abbotsford and I know how unbearable it was. Poor babies. Thank God they are okay.

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