Category Archives: Indifference

RISE IN NEBRASKA CHILD ABUSE REPORTS

.jpg photo of Child Abuse graphic
Child Abuse reports are up

More Child Abuse cases reported as
school year begins

OMAHA, NE  –  Since the school year has started the number of child abuse cases coming into police has increased from the summer months.  Project Harmony Executive Director Gene Klein said that has a lot to do with teachers taking note and making sure something gets done to stop the abuse.

“Usually in the first month or two we see a significant spike in the reports of child abuse and neglect,” said Klein.

In Nebraska, about 8,000 calls come into the Child Abuse Hotline every year.

“Of those, about 50% of those calls are coming from schools and in particular teachers,” said Klein.

Project Harmony works to educate thousands of teachers every year how to spot the signs of abuse at home.

“Physical abuse is pretty obvious.  You see a mark or an injury,” said Klein.

But Klein said serious abuse, like sexual abuse, can be harder to spot.

“Children that are more withdrawn, isolating themselves maybe depressive,” he said.

In Nebraska, laws have existed for years that make every citizen a mandatory reporting party.  That means if you see even a sign of something, you’re legally inclined to say something.

“I’m glad you’re doing a story on this to help people like myself become aware and to say something when they notice something,” mom Amy Roselind told WOWT 6 News.

It’s not widely known by everyone, but Project Harmony says even if you don’t have all the facts, even if there’s a possibility you could be wrong, they ask you to make a report anyway.

If you see any signs of possible abuse, call the Nebraska Child Abuse hotline at 1-800-652-1999

For all of Our Readers in other states, call your local Law Enforcement, PLEASE, don’t ignore anything you see.

OK Teacher Arrested For Child Abuse

.jpg photo of Teacher arrested for Child Abuse
Tina O’Neal

Tecumseh teacher arrested, accused of
Child Abuse

TECUMSEH, OK  –  A Tecumseh teacher was arrested after accusations of child abuse at her home in Asher.

According to an affidavit, Pottawatomie County deputies were called Sunday to her home on reports that Tina O’Neal beat her child for not cleaning her room.

O’Neal is a fourth-grade teacher at Cross Timbers Elementary School and has been there for about two years without incident, according to school leaders.

The report said that when deputies arrived, they could hear yelling coming from the house.  Deputies said the teen ran out of the front door while O’Neal told her “get back into your room.”

Deputies reported seeing swelling on the teen’s face, a knot on her head and other marks on her back.

The teen told deputies that O’Neal would occasionally beat her when no one was home and had been doing so for several years.

When O’Neal’s husband was called to the home, he told deputies his wife is “high-strung and that he had talks with Tina about not disciplining the kids because she takes it too far and loses her temper.”

When deputies arrested O’Neal, the report said she yelled at the teen, warning her not to be home when she returned.

She declined the opportunity to write a statement with her version of what happened telling the deputies, “no, she should have cleaned her room.”

Tecumseh school officials said they are aware of the situation and are conducting an investigation.  They would not say if O’Neal will be allowed back into the classroom.

O’Neal’s bail is set at $5,000 her next court appearance is Sept. 2.

Foster Parents Charged With Child Abuse

.jpg photo of Foster Parents arrested for Child Abuse
John and Colleen Huthmaker

AR foster parents accused of abusing 9-year-old

Benton, Arkansas  –  A Benton couple is behind bars after police say they abused the 9-year-old child they are foster parents to.

John Richard Huthmaker, 49, and his wife, Colleen Huthmaker, 37, were arrested in the case.  John face a charge of second-degree battery, while Colleen faces a charge of permitting child abuse.

The Benton Police Department reports they were notified on August 18 about a possible child abuse case.  Police say they are working with the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division to investigate.

Benton school officials told their resource officers and contacted the state child abuse hotline about the suspected child abuse case.

Authorities interviewed the Huthmaker’s about possible abuse that is said to have happened at their Benton home at 7 a.m. on Aug. 18.

John and Colleen Huthmaker were arrested after being interviewed, and taken to the Saline County Detention Center.

Another Of Our Protectors Taken

.jpg photo of Hatch New Mexico Police Patch
Another of Our Protectors taken from us

Officer Chavez funeral set for Sunday,
hundreds expected

LAS CRUCES, NM  –  Hundreds of people are expected to gather on Sunday to give their final good bye’s to fallen Hatch Officer Jose Chavez.. 

Officer Chavez is expected to take his final patrol through the Village of Hatch tomorrow then proceed with his funeral in Las Cruces which is open to the public.

It’s been over a week since Chavez was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop in Hatch, New Mexico.  Authorities say that Jesse Hanes, a fugitive out of Ohio is responsible for Chavez’s murder.

While authorities continue to investigate the motives behind Hanes’ actions, his loved ones and colleagues are preparing for his final goodbye.

On Sunday, a group of regional law enforcement will gather near Hatch Valley High School for the funeral procession.  They will then lead Chavez’s body on his final patrol through the Village of Hatch, passing by the Hatch Valley Regional Public Safety Building.  From there, the motorcade will head south to Las Cruces.

Authorities are advising motorists to be cautious of temporarily closures that will occur once in Las Cruces.

The final stop for Chavez’s body will be at the pan am center.

Doors are set to open at 1 p.m., the funeral is expected to start at 3 p.m.

Those attending are expected not to bring bags, as there is a strict no bag policy.

Flowers and momentos will be accepted at a silent witness display of Officer Chavez’s police unit.

Now keep in mind if you do plan on traveling to Las Cruces for the funeral, parts of I-10 West will be closed all day.

Here’s more on the funeral: https://donaanacounty.org/content/officers-finalize-details-chavez-funeral-tribute

Michigan Woman Throws Baby

.jpg photo of Babysitter arrested for Child Abuse
Autumn Skuse

Babysitter charged with Child Abuse after
allegedly throwing infant

IONIA, MI  –  An Ionia County woman is now charged with first-degree child abuse involving an 8-month-old baby.

Police say Thomas Pierson suffered three skull fractures and a brain bleed while in the care of Autumn Skuse.

Skuse was arrested Monday and charged Tuesday morning in Ionia District Court.  Police say she initially told them the child had fallen.

Rachel Pierson, the baby’s mother, says Skuse was recommended to them and they interviewed her twice before hiring her.

“You would never, never, guess she would have done this to him,” Pierson said.  “I still can’t believe it.  He’s a great baby.”

Baby Thomas was taken to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, where doctors told the parents the injuries were not consistent with a fall.

Pierson says Skuse contacted her over the weekend.

“She says she snapped and dropped him, Pierson said.  “She said he was supposed to land on a pillow.  Obviously he didn’t.  She said she was abused herself as a child and she’s going to the mental health hospital.”

Skuse was given a $50,000 bond Tuesday morning.

In addition to the skull fractures, the boy had several broken ribs.

Thomas is back home with his mother and father.  Rachel says they are taking his recovery one day at a time, but so far, he seems to be doing well.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Thomas’s mother if you would like to help with his recovery.  On the page, his mother wrote, “Baby Thomas is home and did well last night.  No seizures still… thank God!  #JusticeforThomas.”