WHO is being discriminated against? Not daddies.
Not one word on why abuser dad CHRISTOPHER WARREN has custody of this boy, who gave it to him, or why he CONTINUES to retain custody even as evidence of ongoing abuse mounts up (other than CPS sucking up to Daddy, which they are prone to do). Just the usual overwhelming media silence we've come to expect in these cases, especially in fathers-rights friendly Indiana.
Except for references to "Judge Palmer," which is actually more information that we usually get in these reports. But we can't even bother to look up his first name?
We're told that Daddy had ADMITTED that he hit his 7-year-old son in the face for "lying" about eating chocolate. The son has confirmed that Daddy hit him. School authorities observed the injuries to the boy's lip and mouth.
And this isn't the first time Daddy has hit the child either. He was "alleged" to have hit the child at least twice before.
In addition, we hear that Daddy has THREE OUTSTANDING BATTERY CHARGES for cases involving tire slashing, breaking out the windows of a man's struck, and assaulting said man.
And yet Daddy INSISTS the boy's non-custodial mom has "persuaded him to lie."
This is classic, right out of the father's rights handbook. No matter what evidence is against you, it's always Mom's fault! She's a liar and an alienator! Fathers are NEVER to be held accountable for their actions, which they never did anyway, because everybody EVERYBODY is always lying about them!
More on child abuse: Still with Dad
June 23, 2012|By VIRGINIA BLACK | South Bend Tribune Staff Writer
PLYMOUTH -- When the 7-year-old arrived at school that late February morning, someone asked about his reddened lip and the fresh cut to his mouth.
He was in trouble, standing at the wall, when his father became angry and hit him because he ate a piece of chocolate, the boy replied. According to documents, he "stated that he thinks his father's ring hit his lip, causing it to bleed and that it was an accident."
An Indiana Department of Child Services intake officer also asked the father, Christopher Warren, what happened.
"Father admitted that he struck the child in the mouth for lying but denied knowing anything about his lip being cut," the documents say. "Father stated that the child was continually lying about having some candy that he knows he is not allowed to have."
Despite his admission -- - and despite the fact that the 6-foot-4 Warren has been accused of hitting his son at least twice before and has three outstanding battery charges against him in Marshall County -- the boy still lives with his father and his girlfriend in a trailer park north of
The Tribune outlined the potential abuse against the boy in a story originally published Feb. 19.
On Feb. 28, as DCS records describe this most recent incident, Warren admittedly lost his temper again and hit the child, who is reported to have behavioral issues.
DCS entered into what's known as an Informal Agreement with Warren and his girlfriend, who both signed the document before Judge Curtis Palmer approved it without a hearing. It was filed April 26.
The agreement, which by state law lasts six months and can be extended for three, sets out rules for Warren and his girlfriend, including:
-- Contact the family case manager every week, and allow announced and unannounced visits to the home.
-- Maintain safe and stable housing.
-- Care for the child, including medical and mental health needs.
-- Participate regularly in counseling with the boy at Bowen Center.
-- No use of corporal punishment "during the course of the Informal Adjustment."
The document alleges the boy is a Child in Need of Services but states "no removal is appropriate at this time" because "family is able to provide for the safety of the child and have regular services through Bowen Center."
Counseling has been mandated for the family, at least off and on, since August 2010, when Warren was first alleged to have hit his then-6-year-old son.
On Aug. 26, 2010, DCS received a report that the boy had a red mark in the shape of a hand on his neck, and a bruise by his left eye and on the side of his face, a case manager wrote.
He "stated that his father had given him the marks that morning and told him not to tell anyone," the 2010 petition said. The boy said "his father hit him 5 times in the head with an open hand because he did not hear something that his father said. That (he) had stated that he was thrown on his toys on Monday for not picking his toys up."
Documents updating that case in early 2011 read, "It is also being requested that he does not use physical discipline with" the boy. He was returned to his father last summer.
Yet in November 2011, the first-grader allegedly showed up at school with another injury, telling authorities his father kneed him in the hip, knocking him over and leaving a bruise.
DCS removed the child again and pushed for him to be declared a CHINS -- a ward of the state. But Judge Palmer refused, instead issuing an order Jan. 17, 2012, that allowed the boy to remain with his father and read, in part:
"1. The allegations are that the father has inflicted minor injuries to the child on two occasions resulting in a small scratch and bump on the head on the first occasion and a bruise to the child's hip on the second occasion.
"2. No medical attention was necessary with regard to either incident.
"3. The only evidence that the father caused the injuries comes from statements the four-year-old child made to others."
The boy did not appear in front of the judge before that ruling, according to court documents.
He just turned 8 years old on Saturday.
Cases move slowly
DCS spokeswoman Stephanie McFarland says the agency cannot comment specifically on a case because of federal confidentiality laws.
But generally, IAs are not common; DCS has a little more than 13,000 active CHINS cases and slightly more than 2,000 active Informal Adjustments, she says.
"Indiana is among the top in the nation in terms of states that remove children from the home," McFarland points out. But in considering removal, authorities worry about the potential for more harm to a child in the long run. And DCS actions must be approved by a judge.
IAs are typically used with families who are judged to be at low or moderate risk for reoffense, McFarland says, or "where intervention of the court is either not needed or might not be procured."
School officials, the boy's Court Appointed Special Advocate and at least one DCS case manager have in the past documented concern about the boy, who had been heard saying early in 2011, "'I just want to kill myself.' "
The judge declined comment in February and again in preparation for this article.
Warren denied to The Tribune in February that he is guilty of other charges against him or that he has abused his son. He says, instead, that the boy's mother has persuaded him to lie.
Warren faces these current criminal charges:
-- A Class A misdemeanor of criminal mischief was filed Nov. 30, 2010, alleging Warren "did slash the tires on the parked vehicle" of three people. A pre-trial hearing is set for July 27.
-- Charges of criminal mischief and battery, both misdemeanors, were filed May 12, 2011, alleging Warren broke out the windows of a man's vehicle and then struck the man "with his hands about the face and arms." A pre-trial conference is scheduled for July 27.