Tag Archives: Dangerous Environment

Missouri Felon Beats 2-year-old

Man Abused Child
Shaquille Stevens

GRANDVIEW, Mo. – Shaquille Stevens, 22, of Grandview, Mo., was arrested Friday and faces two counts of child abuse.

On Jan. 20, officers responded to the 12000 block of Lemon Tree Lane on a report of child abuse. When they arrived, two women told authorities the 2-year-old victim was not acting normal and was lethargic.

According to court documents, they said the victim appeared to have been beaten with a leather belt across the torso, hit in the head and had some scrapes that were scabbed over.

The victim’s mother told authorities she left the child with her boyfriend, Stevens, while she was at work. She received a text from Stevens that said he had spanked the victim, and she didn’t think anything of it.

According to court documents, the victim’s mother said Stevens told her he spanked the victim with a belt. When she arrived home, she saw the victim lying in bed with a bruised face. Stevens told her the victim also fell down the stairs. The victim’s mother said when she pulled the sheet down she saw welts and cuts all over the victim’s body.

When she told Stevens they needed to take the victim to the E.R., Stevens did not want to get in trouble for causing the injuries.

According to court documents, Stevens told officers the victim sustained their injuries after they fell down the front stairs and possibly from playing with a dog.

Stevens has a criminal history. He was found guilty of second degree robbery in Cass County in 2010, of child abuse in Belton, Mo., (on the municipal level) in 2010, and possession of a controlled substance in Jackson County in 2014.

Stevens is being held on a $100,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015.

$5,000 Bond for Kicking Infant????

Indifference toward Child Abuse
There is no excuse for Indifference toward Child Abuse

Daycare worker charged after video captures kicking

HOLIDAY, Fla. (AP) — A daycare worker on Florida’s Gulf Coast faces child abuse charges after authorities say video captured her kicking a 16-month-old girl several times.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office reports 49-year-old Linda Klemm was supervising children Saturday at Kids Stop-N-Play in Holiday when surveillance video captured Klemm kicking the top of a sleeping child’s head and then dragging the bottom of her foot across the left side of the child’s face. About 10 minutes later, after the child falls back asleep, Klemm is seen forcefully kicking the child.

The child’s mother reportedly noticed abrasions when she picked the girl up later and called authorities. Deputies responded and reviewed the surveillance video.

Klemm was jailed Saturday and then released Sunday on a $5,000 bail. It wasn’t clear if she had an attorney.

Faulty Reporting, Tainted Numbers

Texas didn’t report hundreds of Child Abuse, neglect deaths

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas has not publicly reported hundreds of abuse- and neglect-related child deaths since 2010, raising questions about the accuracy of the state’s official fatality count, an Austin American-Statesman investigation into the state’s child protection system has found.

Between 2010 and 2014, the Department of Family and Protective Services did not publicly report 655 child abuse-related fatalities, even though the department confirmed that those children had been mistreated prior to their deaths. Because Child Protective Services caseworkers decided that mistreatment or abuse did not directly cause those fatalities, state law does not require the agency to publicly reveal those numbers.

Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, who authored that law, said he was shocked that legislators were not being provided information on all of the abuse-related cases in the state. “I’m speechless,” he said.  “I want to know who these kids are. Every one of these kids has a name and has a story and would have had a life ahead of them.”

Family and Protective Services spokesman Patrick Crimmins say the agency has followed state and federal laws. And aggregate non-identifying information — such as the ages, genders and types of abuse and neglect — has always been available to anyone who wanted it. But until now, no one has.

Because of the newspaper’s inquiry, the agency plans to publicly report those numbers in the future, Crimmins said.

The finding came as part of a six-month investigation in which the newspaper reviewed nearly 800 child fatality reports from September 2009 through March 2014 that the agency did publicly report.

In 2009, the Legislature ordered CPS to publicly record such deaths in hopes of identifying patterns and discovering ways to prevent abuse deaths. But the Statesman found that CPS has not systematically analyzed those reports, meaning that in important ways, Texas’ child protection workers effectively have been operating with blinders, missing deadly patterns and key pieces of information that could help protect kids.

The newspaper’s analysis found:

  • The agency has not comprehensively tracked how often it saw children before they died of abuse or neglect — a key predictor of potential problems. Of the 779 deaths reviewed by the newspaper, the families of 374 of those children — nearly half — were visited by CPS at least once before the death. In 144 fatalities, or nearly 20 percent of the total, the agency had seen the family at least three times. In 12 instances, CPS had seen the family 10 or more times. CPS had contact with one family more than 20 times before the child died.
  • In 166 cases — a little more than 1 of every 5 reviewed by the paper — a child had been separated from a caretaker because of safety concerns prior to the fatality. In 41 of those instances, it was the same child who later died.
  • In 137 of the cases, about 1 in every 5 such fatalities, a boyfriend or girlfriend of a parent was at least partially responsible for the death. In abuse homicide cases, the number is closer to a third.
  • The paper also found that in 20 percent of child abuse beating or strangulation deaths — the way most children are killed — has been left unsolved, leaving relatives, law enforcement and local communities bereft of closure or justice.
  • Unlike some other states, Texas has not undertaken a detailed analysis of the child deaths to identify families that are at the greatest risk of hurting a child, and the state is not using that information to prevent tragedies.

CPS Commissioner John Specia said the newspaper’s analysis should prove valuable. “I want to see what the patterns are there,” he said. “I’m sure my safety folks will look at it.”

Among the most disturbing cases uncovered by the newspaper was that of 15-year-old Brandon White, who died of asphyxiation after being tied up at his Denison home.

In the years before his death, CPS was warned about Brandon’s family 23 times before he was killed by his mother’s boyfriend.
Caseworkers received complaints as early as 1999 that the Grayson County boy was being restrained, gagged, hit and neglected. His mother admitted whipping him with a belt so hard it left bruises. Still, he remained in his home.

CPS officials say they are making efforts to use death data. A State Child Fatality Review Team meets twice a year to review child deaths in an effort to understand risks faced by the state’s children.

Yet its work has been limited and, in crucial ways, is incomplete. Its information comes from local fatality review teams, charged with analyzing local child deaths and passing on the information for statewide review. The local teams are voluntary, however, and chunks of the state are unrepresented. The cases they review in a given year also typically are two years old.

Even in areas with active local death review teams, reporting rigor varies widely. Last year, 14 of the local teams did not enter any data from their child death reviews. Only 92 of the state’s 254 counties passed along data on 100 percent of their child deaths.
And while CPS is supposed to identify patterns that might help the agency anticipate its future interactions with families, that hasn’t always been done; a 2013 audit of the process found the agency “does not focus on trend analysis.” It wasn’t until December that Family and Protective Services began tracking CPS’ ongoing contacts with families on a statewide level.

“We need to do more,” said DFPS spokesman Patrick Crimmins.
Last year, Specia also created a new Office of Child Safety, designed to analyze in detail CPS’ response to previous child abuse and neglect cases. The results will help direct money and prevention programs to the highest risk families. “Now we have staff looking at those patterns,” he said.

The program has been slow to lift off. Workers are just now being hired, and the office hopes to start its work soon.

Children must be watched and protected

Child dies from poisoning
It is a Parent’s responsibility to teach and protect their Children

N.Y. Toddler Dies From Liquid Nicotine Poisoning

Dec. 15, 2014 — A 1-year-old child in New York State is believed to be the first youngster in the United States to die of poisoning from liquid nicotine, the substance used in electronic cigarettes.

Police said the toddler was found unresponsive last Tuesday after ingesting liquid nicotine at a home in Fort Plain, N.Y., and later died in hospital, ABC News reported.

The death is believed to be a “tragic accident,” according to a statement released by Fort Plain police. They did not say whether the liquid nicotine was associated with an e-cigarette.

With the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, health officials are concerned there could be more fatal incidents like this one if steps aren’t taken to protect children, ABC News reported.

Brightly-colored liquid nicotine comes in flavors such as gummy bear or cotton candy, which is appealing to youngsters, health officials warn.

“One teaspoon of liquid nicotine could be lethal to a child, and smaller amounts can cause severe illness, often requiring trips to the emergency department,” the American Association of Poison Control centers in a statement, ABC News reported. “Despite the dangers these products pose to children, there are currently no standards set in place that require child-proof packaging.”

In recent years, there’s been a sharp rise in the number of liquid nicotine-related calls to U.S. poison control centers.

Just a small amount of nicotine can cause seizures and other dangerous symptoms in children, Dr. Donna Seger, director of the poison control center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told ABC News.

12 YEARS FOR BEATING BOYS

Colorado Springs man sentenced for child abuse

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — A Colorado Springs man who pleaded guilty to abusing his girlfriend’s teenage sons has been sentenced.

Man Physically Abused Boys
Lee Duane Kizer

Lee Kizer, 30, was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison.

Kizer pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse resulting in serious injury as part of a Plea Agreement in November.

Prosecutors said he tortured and threatened his girlfriend’s teenage sons.

The teens told police Kizer made them kneel in a corner and beat them.