Category: child abuse

Utah teacher charged with felony child abuse for altercation with teen in P.E. class

UTAH COUNTY — A Utah P.E. teacher who was fired for an altercation with a student that was caught on camera has been formally charged with felony child abuse.

Anthony Robbie Chidester, 41 of Cedar Hills, is charged with child abuse as a second-degree felony.

The incident occurred April 18 at Rockwell Charter High School in Eagle Mountain.

Charging documents state video evidence showed him slamming a student into a wall and then throwing him to the floor before using his knee to hold the boy down while continuing to “violently push” the boy into the floor and wall.

The document states the abuse began when the boy did not put away a basketball when asked to do so.

“The situation escalated and became physical,” the charging document states.

Other students eventually separated the pair.

The boy suffered bruises and redness on his chest and back as a result.

Chidester was fired after the incident and issued an apology, which the victim’s mother criticized for portraying her son as a bully. 

16-year-old babysitter arrested after 4-month-old infant found injured

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – A 16-year-old juvenile has been arrested and booked into juvenile detention after police found a 4-month-old girl with injuries consistent with child abuse on Wednesday, according to West Valley City Police.

Police said they performed CPR on the child at Shadowbook Apartments until fire personnel arrived and transported her to Jordan Valley West Medical Center.

She was then transported by medical helicopter to Primary Children’s Medical Center.

Lt. Steve Burke with West Valley City Police said they received the call just before 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and their next steps will be guided by what happens with the injured 4-month-old girl.

“We wait to see what happens with the child,” Burke said. “If the child survives the injuries, then obviously we look at crimes that direction. If the child doesn’t [survive], then we look at homicide charges.”

Police said both families have been cooperating with authorities.

A GoFundMe has been set up for the family here.

This is a developing story. It will be updated as new information becomes available.

Missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis had been removed from her Texas home after abuse claims

HOUSTON – Four-year-old Maleah Davis and her two brothers were removed from their home last year after reports of abuse, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services told CNN.

In August 2018, Maleah and her brothers were placed with a relative following physical abuse allegations, stemming from a head injury she had, CPS said Monday night.

A judge ordered their return home in February and called for CPS to maintain temporary conservatorship and visit the home at least once a month to check on the family.

Maleah has been missing since Saturday. According to her stepfather, Darion Vence, he, his 1-year-old son and Maleah were abducted by three Hispanic males who knocked him unconscious for nearly 24 hours. When he finally awoke, Vence told detectives, he was on the side of a road with his son and Maleah was gone.

CPS is investigating and searching for Maleah with law enforcement, the agency told CNN.

In a news conference Sunday, Houston police Sgt. Mark Holbrook said Maleah had had multiple brain surgeries, including one in recent months.

The surgeries were intended to help an injury heal, he said.

“She’s needed a lot of care,” the police sergeant said. “This week she was sick too.”

Now, police are on the hunt for the trio of suspects Vence described, their reported blue pickup truck and the young child.

Maleah is about 3 feet tall and weighs 30 to 40 pounds. She was last seen wearing a light blue Under Armour jacket, blue jeans, gray Under Armour tennis shoes with pink and white details and had a pink bow in her hair.

Here’s everything we know about the young girl and how she went missing:

Stepfather says he kept passing out

Vence told detectives that he, Maleah and his son were on their way to the airport Friday night to pick up Maleah’s mother, who was flying in from Massachusetts, Holbrook said.

While on the road, the stepdad said he heard a “popping noise,” like a popped tire, and pulled over to check on it, he told police. That’s when a blue pickup truck pulled up behind the car and two Hispanic males got out, according to Vence’s narrative to police.

One of the men commented, “Maleah looks very nice, looks very sweet,” according to Vence’s account.

The other man hit Vence in the head, causing him to lose consciousness, he told police.

At some point when he woke up, Vence said he was in the back of the truck with Maleah and her brother; three Hispanic males were also in the vehicle.

He told police he was in and out of consciousness until about 6 p.m. Saturday, when he woke up on Highway 6 with the 1-year-old boy. Maleah was not there.

Vence said he walked to a nearby hospital where he received treatment and reported her missing.

The stepfather’s story has “a lot of blanks,” Holbrook said, but he said he’s hoping the public can help them “fill in the blanks” in the narrative provided to them by Vence.

Mother asks for help

Maleah’s mother, Brittany Bowens, told CNN affiliate KTRK she feels “so lost.”

Through sobs, the mother pleaded for help saying losing the young girl is “too much to bear.”

“I can’t concentrate, I can’t focus,” she told the affiliate. “It’s so overwhelming for me. It doesn’t seem real.”

The mother was returning from a trip and got another family member to pick her up from the airport when Vence didn’t show up with the children, Holbrook said.

“(There’s) so many thoughts going on in my mind on what could have happened,” she told KTRK.

Maleah, she said, is a kind, loving, creative and smart young girl.

Volunteers join search

Texas EquuSearch, a search and rescue organization, has joined the effort to look for Maleah. The organization said on its website an active search began Monday morning.

EquuSearch founder and director Tim Miller told KTRK he’s “hoping for the best, expecting the worst.”

“No matter what the case is, I hope this baby is found,” he told the affiliate.

These are the cars police are looking for

Police posted a representative photo of the blue pickup truck that Vence said the abductors were driving.

An Amber Alert describes the car as a blue, crew-cab Chevy pickup truck, possibly a 2010 year model.

The car Vence was driving — a silver Nissan Altima belonging to Maleah’s mother — is also missing, police said.

A traffic camera captured an image of the Altima driving through an intersection in the Houston suburb of Sugar Land just before 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

Houston police ask anyone with information about the case to call 713-308-3600.

‘Way past corporal punishment’: Oklahoma mother accused of beating children over bad grades

OKLAHOMA CITY – A mother was jailed on complaints of child abuse after she allegedly beat her teen daughter for bad grades and used an electrical cord to beat her younger daughter.

Police first learned of the alleged abuse when a school resource officer at Edmond Santa Fe High School saw a 16-year-old student with injuries on her face.

“She had swelling, redness, and some darkening around one of her eyes,” Oklahoma City police Master Sergeant Gary Knight said.

The teen told the school resource officer the injuries came from her mother, Tiara Riley, who punched her because of her grades.

“She said at least ten times about the head and face,” Knight said.

Soon allegations came to light involving some of Riley’s other children. Her 14-year-old daughter is allegedly also the victim of abuse.

According to the police report, Riley beat her “using a belt” and when the belt broke, she “retrieved an electrical cord.” She even allegedly said, “‘So you want to die,'” before she “[wrapped] the electrical cord around the victim’s neck and [pulled] upward.”

Police said Riley is know to have a bad temper and anger issues.

“This really wasn’t corporal punishment, this was beating a kid,” Knight said. “This was hitting a kid in the face multiple times and then possibly beating another with an electrical cord. That goes way past corporal punishment.”

Twin boys found in ‘cages’ bolted to the wall inside California home

MODOC, Calif. – The parents of two small children who were found trapped inside makeshift cages bolted to the wall of a Northern California home have been arrested, authorities said Monday.

The grim discovery was made while deputies served a search warrant at a residence in the 3000 block of C/R 101, according to a news release from the Modoc County Sheriff’s Office.

The warrant was obtained after shell casings were found on the property when a CHP officer visited to sign off on a correctable citation, television station KRCR in Redding reported.

Authorities had no idea there were children in the home when they went to search it, Sheriff Tex Dowdy said, according to the station.

Both kids were found in two separate modified cribs, one stacked on top of the other. The cribs were “secured to the wall like dog crates,” the release read.

The twin boys are believed to be about 22 months old, KRCR reported.

A search of the home also uncovered three firearms, ammunition, suspected methamphetamine and evidence of a butane honey oil lab, according to the release.

It’s still being investigated why the boys had been locked up, but Dowdy told the station he suspected “it was a way to keep them away from the other items that were located within the residence.”

Ramon Alberto Zendejas, 25, and his girlfriend Mercadies Irene Williams, also 25, were both arrested and face several charges, according to the release.

Zendejas was booked on suspicion of being a prohibited person in possession of firearms, a prohibited person in possession of ammunition, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and child endangerment, sheriff’s officials said.

Williams was booked on suspicion of being a prohibited person in possession of firearms, a prohibited person in possession of ammunition and child endangerment.

They are each being held on $10,000 bail.

The two children have been taken into the care of Modoc County Child Protective Services, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Ogden Police arrest man for felony child abuse after 3-year-old suffers severe injury

OGDEN, Utah — A man was booked into jail and faces a felony charge of child abuse after a 3-year-old girl in his care suffered severe injury.

According to a statement of probable cause, Joshua Matthew Bailey, 24, was arrested Monday by Ogden Police after an investigation that began February 12.

Court documents state a 3-year-old girl was brought to a hospital with “severe bruising all over [her] including her legs, arms, face, neck, back, buttocks and genitals.”

A CT scan revealed an old brain bleed at the back of the child’s head.

Bailey took the girl to a hospital that day and told police the child had suffered a seizure and that he had smacked her to keep her awake during the seizure, causing some bruising.

Medical personnel indicated the extensive injuries to the child were not accidental and stated if the child remained in the home she would likely die.

Bailey denied causing injury to the child. Police state he was the sole provider of the child that day after leaving the girl’s mother at work.

Bailey was booked into jail on one count of child abuse-inflicting serious physical injury as a second-degree felony. The man is on probation for a previous assault and as such has been ordered to be held without bail.

Judge Fails to See Intent to Inflict Injury, Downgrades Woman’s Charge in Child Kidnapping Case

ELDORA, Iowa – She faced up to life in prison, but now the maximum sentence possible for Traci Lynn Tyler is one year in jail. And with credit for time served, she may remain free.

“It’s disappointing to see someone get charged in a lesser crime than what we might think that they deserve,” says Prevent Child Abuse Iowa Marketing and Development Manager Alli Moerman.

Police arrested Tyler in July 2018 for first degree kidnapping, a class A felony.

Investigators say she and her boyfriend Alex Shadlow locked his eight year-old son in a six-by-six foot area under the basement stairs.

According to criminal documents, the child spent nine plus hours in the dungeon-like space with no light, cement floors and a makeshift door, padlocked from the outside. He had no pillow or bedding and was forced to sleep on the floor in his own urine.

“Some of the things we saw in this case were food stealing or resource hoarding,” says Moerman.

As punishment, the child was forced to sweep and mop at the bar and grill Tyler worked at wearing a backpack full of rocks.

“I got called again that the boy was being punished that day by the parents. He was carrying weights making multiple circles around the garage,” said Ackley Police Chief Brian Shimon.

The child says Tyler hit him with a fly swatter, a wooden spoon and a spatula. But the court says his testimony was “not fully credible… mostly from the limited ability of a nine year-old to accurately report events that occurred nearly a year and a half before.”

“They don’t make those things up very often. So we try to encourage people that when they hear something strange coming from a child, to take that seriously,” said Moerman.

The child’s teachers called the Department of Human Services to report him looking “skeletal” with yellow toned skin and missing patches of hair.

“They saved his life. That child is safe now. He doesn’t have to go home to a dangerous situation,” exclaimed Moerman.

But Tyler is safe too, and currently free on bond. She waived her right to a jury trial and on Wednesday Judge James Ellefson declared “Because the court cannot find any required intent to inflict serious injury and therefore cannot find the defendant guilty of any grade of kidnapping.”

Judge Ellefson did convict Tyler of false imprisonment, saying “In finding the defendant guilty of a lesser included offense, the court does not intend to suggest the defendant’s treatment of this child was in any way acceptable. Confinement in an enclosure beneath the basement steps was, in and of itself, egregious and outrageous, regardless of the defendant’s intent. Finding the defendant guilty of false imprisonment is a complete rejection of her claim that this was somehow within the proper bounds of discipline.”

The serious misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail. Tyler will be sentenced on April 26th in Hardin County.

Shadlow’s kidnapping trial is scheduled for September.