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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » What a night.

   
Author Topic: What a night.
MattP
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I had one of the most exciting (and not in a good way) nights of my life tonight.

My wife and I were heading out of the neighborhood at around 11:00 tonight to pick up my daughter from a party when we saw a large man in a t-shirt and boxers yelling at us and flailing his arms. We pulled over and rolled down the window and he breathlessly shouted "My daughter! Follow my daughter!" while pointing down the road. About 1/2 block away we saw a person run around the corner. I had no idea what was going on, but I figured the girl must be in some distress so I took off after her.

As we rounded that corner we saw a teenage girl knocking furiously on the front door of the first house there. As soon as she saw us she started running toward us screaming "Please help me! My dad is going to kill my mom!" and many other not completely coherent things about her dad attacking her mom, trying to break her arm and threatening to kill her with a pair of scissors. Realizing that we'd just left the dad 1/2 block behind us I urged her to get into the car quickly and we sped off.

A car was following us. I don't *think* it was the dad since he was on foot and a block away from his house when we saw him, but it was definitely following us. My best guess is that this was the mom who may or may not have picked up the dad on the way. In any case they were following. We accelerated and took a number of random turns and they continued to follow so I accelerated more and started taking the turns sharper and eventually lost them.

During the car chase my wife called 911 and explained the basics of what was going on and then handed the phone to the girl. She related the story of that evening's events to the dispatcher. She had gotten in trouble for something last week but her dad just found out tonight. Her mom and dad got into a shouting match over it and then the dad started getting physical with the mom, twisting her arm and shoving her. The mom kept "backtalking" to him and he threatened to kill her with a pair of scissors. The girl saw a chance to run and took it.

We eventually ended up at an elementary school a couple miles away and the dispatcher said the police would meet us there. While we waited I called my brother-in-law and asked him to go to our house with our kids until we got back. I doubt the guy knew me, but we only lived a few houses away and I didn't want to take any chances that he'd end up at my house with my kids when I wasn't there.

A police car showed up at the girl's house within a couple minutes (according to neighbors) and four patrol cars arrived at the elementary school within five minutes of our arrival there. They took the girl aside to talk to her, then took our statement and sent us home. When we got back there were four patrol cars at her house.

We can see the front of their house from our backyard so I went out around 1am to see if they cops were still here - just in time to see the dad handcuffed and put into a patrol car. I saw the mom and daughter talking to the cops at the door. Everything ended up as I'd hoped for the evening - dad off to jail and girl back at home, but I have no idea what happens now.

I'm mildly concerned for my own family's safety since I had a hand in getting this guy arrested, but I'm more worried about their family. That poor girl was so scared.

What are the likely next steps? Is anyone familiar with Utah domestic violence laws?

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Dan_Frank
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Have no words of advice, but I just wanted to say that I'm sorry you had to go through that, and even more, I'm phenomenally impressed with how well you handled it.
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JanitorBlade
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Wa! That's an amazing story Matt. I'm not familiar with domestic violence laws unfortunately. But that was very quick thinking.
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pooka
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Yikes! Here's hoping you don't get any blowback. But the threat to kill with scissors seems like a reason to provide aid imminently. And taking her to a school to meet police probably shields you from any accusation of kidnapping. I mean, the father definitely sounds like trouble, and it's for that reason I worry if he will find a way to make this stink for you.

P.S. Ever since that kidnapping that ended in the guy driving to the police station, I've tried to be more aware of where police stations are that I can drive to.

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Jeff C.
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That's really strange that the man would tell you to follow his daughter like that. He basically shot himself in the foot on that one.

You handled this very well. Great job taking care of the situation, Matt.

As for the law, here's what will happen. Basically, the dad will go to jail, but he won't have to stay there unless the mom and/or daughter press charges and are willing to testify. If they let everything go, he'll be right back in his house within a day or two. The police need evidence to hold someone, and if the mom and daughter decide to let everything go, there won't be any. Kids over-react all the time, so if the mom convinces the daughter to say nothing happened, then the dad will be released. It all comes down to how strong they are.

Keep in mind that I'm from Florida, so it could be different where you live, but I doubt it.

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Hobbes
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Matt

Hobbes [Smile]

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DDDaysh
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That is the truly sad truth. It can be so hard to prosecute anything in cases like this.

quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
That's really strange that the man would tell you to follow his daughter like that. He basically shot himself in the foot on that one.

You handled this very well. Great job taking care of the situation, Matt.

As for the law, here's what will happen. Basically, the dad will go to jail, but he won't have to stay there unless the mom and/or daughter press charges and are willing to testify. If they let everything go, he'll be right back in his house within a day or two. The police need evidence to hold someone, and if the mom and daughter decide to let everything go, there won't be any. Kids over-react all the time, so if the mom convinces the daughter to say nothing happened, then the dad will be released. It all comes down to how strong they are.

Keep in mind that I'm from Florida, so it could be different where you live, but I doubt it.


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MattP
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It looks like he was charged with a couple misdemeanors and released within a few hours. I don't know if he's back home or not.
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