WANTED FOR UNETHICAL "WALL OF SHAME"
WANTED FOR THE UNETHICAL "WALL OF SHAME"
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Sunday, February 27, 2011
Mother Hits Father with Car on Video; Prosecutor Refuses to Bring Charges; Police Jail Dad (From the Website of Fathers and Families)
Events caught on a school surveillance camera in Oelwein, Iowa on January 28 hold many lessons for the family court reform movement. The entire event can be seen here, and it makes fascinating viewing.
According to the dad, whom I will call “Josh”, he enjoys 50/50 shared parenting of his five children under Iowa’s fairly enlightened shared parenting laws. He claims mom had interfered with his designated parenting time the day before, so on the day of the videotaped incident, Josh was determined to avoid a repeat. He notified the school that he would be picking his daughter up an hour early. But the school notified mom, who came to the school six minutes before Josh.
At the 2:00 point in the video, you can see mom arriving and entering the school. At 7:30 in the tape, mom and daughter exit the school and get into mom’s car, parked in clear view of the camera. At 8:01, just as they are about to drive off, dad runs in from the left and stands directly in front of the car. The footage is grainy, but there does not appear to be anything that might be interpreted as a threat.
Josh claims that mom nudges him with the car, but it is not readily apparent on the video. Then, at 9:35 in the tape, the car lunges forward, pushing dad back about 20 feet, at which point he loses his footing and falls to his knees.
Mom stops the car, and he gets up again. He leans over the hood and holds the windshield wipers at their bases, so he can lie on the hood and avoid being run over if she drives forward again. Another period of inactivity follows.
At 12:47 of the tape, a police car drives up, an officer emerges, Josh raises his hands in the surrender position, and the officer cuffs him. According to Josh, the officer approached him with a drawn Taser, screaming, “Get off the car, get off the car, get off the car!” But within a minute or two, after listening to his story, the officer is prepared to release him.
Then, at 14:20 of the tape, another police vehicle pulls up within view of the camera. According to Josh, the Chief of Police emerges, refuses to listen to him tell his side of the story, and insists that Josh be arrested for disorderly conduct. Shortly thereafter, the available tape ends. According to Josh, he was cuffed again and spent the next six hours in jail.
Subsequently, mom filed for a no-contact restraining order, which was granted–even though the judge viewed the videotape and, according to Josh, mom testified that no physical or emotional abuse had ever occurred between the parties. The Oelwein Police Department has not filed charges against the mother, who is apparently guilty of assault with a deadly weapon. The district attorney likewise has refused to prosecute the mother.
According to Josh, he is limited to supervised visitation with ALL his children until April 1...Read more here.
Ned Holstein, MD, MS
Founder and Chair of the Board