Leave Those Kids Alone!

Help put an end to child abuse (Fanpop)

Help put an end to child abuse (Fanpop)

Yesterday, I published a disturbing article about Stacey Dean Rambold, a teacher in Montana who recently received a whopping 30-day sentence after raping one of his 14-year-old students, who ultimately committed suicide as a result (“Child Rapist Gets Month-Long Sentence”).

As if this wasn’t bad enough, I started noticing a lot of stories about people mistreating or harming children in the recent news. In an effort to bring attention to something I consider worthy of—at the very least—a serious ass kicking, here are some stories from around the nation that illustrate just how evil and uncaring some of our brothers and sisters can be. Heaven forbid I ever end up in the same room with them!

BELFAIR, WASHINGTON

David M. Navarro is a Washington man who once served as president of the Parent-Teacher Association at Belfair Elementary School. To acquire this position, Navarro had to first pass a background check performed by the state patrol, which he did. Unfortunately, no one ever picked up on the fact that he actually had a criminal record in San Diego, California: a 2009 charge for lewd and lascivious acts with a child.

This would obviously be valuable information when determining whether or not to assign someone to a position that could involve contact with children. Unfortunately, nothing ever came of it and Navarro assumed his role at the head of the Belfair PTA—a decision that would come back to haunt administrators later.

Belfair Elementary School (King 5)

Belfair Elementary School (King 5)

During an investigation into child pornography, U.S. authorities working in Australia and Denmark came across a video with a GPS stamp linking it back to Belfair Elementary. FBI agents were soon dispatched to Washington State and at the end of the trail they found none other than David Navarro. Aside from posting the aforementioned video, they also linked him to 14 child pornography images, which resulted in a search warrant being issued for Navarro’s home.

Navarro has been arrested and charged with multiple counts that include ownership, production and distribution of child pornography. The video discovered by authorities showed an 8-year-old Belfair student performing oral sex on an unidentified man, who may or may not be Navarro. He shot it on his cell phone and then sent it out into cyberspace for the whole world to see.

Thankfully, though, no one may see much of Navarro anymore. He is currently being detained as he waits for his detention hearing, which is scheduled for Thursday. I only hope this judge doesn’t follow the example of the one who gave that child rapist a 30-day sentence!

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

You would think that legalizing recreational marijuana would make people in Washington more laid-back and peaceful, but our second story comes from the same state that gave us Navarro, the child pornographer from Belfair. This time, however, there were two sickos responsible for harming one of our young people.

Brandon Gunn and his wife Viviana were recently arrested and charged with kidnapping, assault and unlawful imprisonment for allegedly holding a 13-year-old boy captive and torturing him for three months. And believe it or not, but the boy was actually Brandon’s brother!

According to the latest reports, the Gunns invited the young man to stay with them for the summer. Once he arrived, though, his personal hell began. Until he escaped several weeks ago, the boy had been held in the Gunns’ cellar and garage for the duration of his stay. They duct-taped him to a chair, covered his eyes, beat his head and torso with metal bars and a baseball bat, put his hand in a vise and even drove a nail through his hand with a hammer. The poor kid was cut with knives, deprived of food and water, locked in the dark for days at a time and spent some time naked in a portable pet carrier. Apparently, these behaviors were identified as punishments for breaking the house rules or failing to complete chores.

Brandon and Viviana Gunn tortured a family member (KIRO-TV)

Brandon and Viviana Gunn tortured a family member (KIRO-TV)

Eventually, the young man was able to escape from the cellar and spent several weeks living on the street, stealing food and trying hard to survive from day to day. Some Navy officers happened upon him in a bus shelter, saw his injuries and immediately rushed him to the hospital, where he was soon interviewed by police. The Gunns were arrested a short time later and will appear in court next month to face the charges.

Torturing anyone is horrible, but doing this to your own brother? Something is seriously wrong with these people, and like you, I hope they pay dearly for what they did to this kid. More importantly, though, I hope he can somehow learn to trust people again. It won’t be easy since the people you can normally trust most are your family members… at least they should be.

MANDEVILLE, LOUISIANA

An 11-year-old girl got off the school bus the other day and started to walk down the sidewalk towards her home. Just as she reached her driveway, a late-model sedan—possibly a Cadillac—pulled up beside her. The driver—a Hispanic man in his 20s or 30s—stepped out and asked the girl if she needed a ride home. Fortunately, someone taught her well because instead of speaking with him or approaching him, the young girl ran screaming into her house.

She immediately told her father what happened, but when he went out to confront the would-be kidnapper, he was nowhere to be found.

A composite of the wannabe child kidnapper (Mandeville Police Department)

A composite of the wannabe child kidnapper (Mandeville Police Department)

“She was crying, extremely upset, and it took me a minute to find out what was wrong,” her father, David Crawford, said later. “He’s lucky that he took off.”

The good news is that police have a detailed description of the Hispanic man in question, who many had seen driving around the neighborhood before. I don’t know about you, but I hope they find this guy soon because the next little girl he approaches might not be so lucky.

WALTERBORO, SOUTH CAROLINA

Few things upset me more than mothers who leave their children locked in their cars or abandoned in some other way. Such was the case with 25-year-old Ashley Elizabeth Murdaugh of Walterboro.

On Wednesday, police arrested Murdaugh after her daughter—a 7-month-old—was found in a shopping cart car seat in the parking lot of Wal-Mart. Fortunately, a customer noticed the child, collected her and took her inside. A store employee phoned the police and Murdaugh was subsequently charged with child neglect.

Oddly enough, police found a phone number written on the side of the car seat, called it and spoke directly to Murdaugh, who returned a half hour later to be apprehended. Her child was placed in protective custody and for all intents and purposes should be fine. She is currently living with a family member who, I assume, knows how to care for children much more effectively than Murdaugh.

I suppose they couldn’t be much worse, huh?

Ashley Murdaugh abandoned her child (CCSO)

Ashley Murdaugh abandoned her child (CCSO)

OVIEDO, FLORIDA

I don’t know what it is about elementary schools that cause people to snap, but this happened yet again at Carillon Elementary School in Florida recently.

According to local authorities, a guidance counselor at the school has been accused of abuse and suspended without pay pending an investigation. She allegedly grabbed a 5-year-old boy by the chin, twisted him and dropped him on the ground, causing some minor bumps and bruises.

Even that is far too much when it comes to physical contact with a child. And since other parents at the school were not notified of this incident, people in Oviedo are pissed off, to say the least.

“The safety of our child is the utmost priority here,” Bobby Fishbough—the parent of a first-grader at the school—said after hearing of the abuse. “Parents need to know what’s happening in our schools. This is not a situation where the school needs to be hush hush.”

I couldn’t agree more. And if something like this were to ever happen to my child, it would take an act of Congress to prevent me from going ballistic on school administrators. Believe me.

What motivates people to hurt children—whether physically, sexually or even emotionally—remains a mystery. However, is there ever a good reason to harm a child? Hell no. And with any luck, the people responsible for hurting the children in this article will get the justice they deserve.

So long as they don’t live in Montana, that is!

Posted on August 29, 2013, in Family, Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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