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Archive for Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Police arrest two Illinois parents after surrounding vehicle in parking lot of westside Walmart

Police handcuff a man in the parking lot of Wal-Mart, Sixth and Congressional, on Wednesday, June 13, 2012.

Police handcuff a man in the parking lot of Wal-Mart, Sixth and Congressional, on Wednesday, June 13, 2012.

June 13, 2012, 11:31 a.m. Updated June 13, 2012, 5:28 p.m.

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Lawrence police on Wednesday arrested a Northlake, Ill., couple after officers discovered two children bound and blindfolded in the family vehicle that contained three other children.

The older Chevrolet Suburban with no plates was parked at Walmart, 550 Congressional Drive, and about 11 a.m. a customer called police after she noticed what appeared to be a child, whose hands were bound, standing outside the vehicle, said Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence police spokesman. The child also was blindfolded.

Police eventually surrounded the vehicle, which was on the west end of the parking lot.

A 52-year-old man was detained near the vehicle after he resisted officers.

“A Taser was used when the adult male was actively resisting arrest,” McKinley said.

A woman was taken into custody inside the store without incident.

The man and woman, who police believe are the children’s biological parents, were arrested on two counts of child abuse and five counts of endangering a child, McKinley said. The man also was arrested on a charge of felony obstruction. Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said prosecutors would review information in the case to make a decision about filing formal charges.

The Journal-World generally does not identify suspects unless they are formally charged.

Initially at least three of the five children refused to leave the vehicle, and the two younger children, ages 5 and 7, were taken into protective custody. Then at 11:45 a.m. three teenagers left the vehicle and got into cars with investigators. The five children involved are ages 5 to 15, and police were working with Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services employees about protective custody for the children.

McKinley said Wednesday afternoon police think the 5-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl had their hands bound and were blindfolded.

Medics examined people at the scene, but no one was taken to the hospital. Officers also were examining the vehicle, which had sheets covering the windows, the sergeant said.

Police think the family members were traveling from North Lake, Ill., to Arizona when they experienced car trouble on Interstate 70 and had been in Walmart’s parking lot since Monday evening.

A Walmart spokeswoman said Wednesday afternoon the store was cooperating with Lawrence police, including reviewing surveillance video and turning it over to officers.

The man detained by police was still in custody as of Wednesday night, being held without bond.

Comments

Termcd4 1 year, 10 months ago

I have a dear friend who was tazered 6 times by Lawrence Police, and just ONCE would have been sufficiant. He has suffered long term effects as a result. He did NOT deserve the treatment he got from the Lawrence Police. It has affected his life, his health, and more.

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Mollie New Leaf 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm so glad a random customer called the police about seeing this.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 10 months ago

'Smoke a reefer' - Song and dance a clip from: 'International House' (1933), a comedy movie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FyV4H3nbAg&feature=related

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autie 1 year, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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John Hampton 1 year, 10 months ago

"Just sayin'" has been voted the most passe` closure to commentary over the last decade.

Just sayin'.

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lawdog 1 year, 10 months ago

The mom and dad could be 'Migrant Farm Workers', is anyone here familiar with farm worker families? You go where there is work available and if it means traveling with your family as well as living in the elements of outdoor weathers.

"I AM JUST SAYING"........ Not everyone can afford a motel.

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akt2 1 year, 10 months ago

Between the stinky drinking water, the freaks at Wal-Mart and the Swat Team busting a drug ring, the Kansas City news stations are having an extended visit to Lawrence this week. Fast trip to Lawrence, you have half the news cast for 5p, 6p and 10p.

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lawdog 1 year, 10 months ago

I don't think we have enough information to jump to all these 'assumptions', okay the parents were in Walmart and so they left the teenagers in the SUV to watch the younger ones. Well .......... it makes me wonder IF the teenagers bound and gagged the kids??????? I just know how some teenagers can act when parents are gone. If they are anything like my older siblings were to me, I remember once my older sisters tied me up and locked me in the closet when they were suppose to be babysitting me. So who knows right? Did they parents speak English?

As far as the 'tarp', I understand they were living out of the SUV and perhaps they Tarp was going to be used as a make shift sun shelter while they are camped out. The baseball bat could be used for recreation for the kids or perhaps to be used as a weapon. I have a baseball bat and 'DANG IT' I will use it if someone breaks into my home ( I don't own a gun).

By all means, don't get me wrong. I am against child abuse or any human abuse of ANY kind so let's not 'judge'. WE don't know ALL the facts yet.

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eugunieum 1 year, 10 months ago

In a case of child abuse like this is, and a man resisting, I think he was really lucky to have been shot with a taser. I absolutely HATE child abuse. I think a Glock .40 would've been far more efficient overall for a child abusing SOB.

Flame away.

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John Hampton 1 year, 10 months ago

Point to ponder:

  1. The man attempted to get into his vehicle when the police attempted to arrest him. The police didn't know whether or not the vehicle was operational at the time of the attempted arrest. What procedure, other than tazing, should they have employed at that moment in time to prevent the man from leaving the scene?

  2. Had the man been able to leave the scene, with what appeared to be children in extreme distress, and not been apprehended, what could have been some of the possible outcomes? How many of these possible outcomes are positive, given the facts as we know them?

  3. Could he have been attempting to take them to vacation bible school or the park?

If the police found my kids tied up and blinded folded in the back of a vehicle, I would hope they would use whatever force was necessary to keep the man attempting to get behind the wheel from fleeing the scene.

Praying and blessing aren't going effect any change in the matter.... fwiw. Now, action... action on the other hand, now there's a possibility that change could be effected with action. The lady that called 911, she acted. The police, they acted. I'm glad the lady didn't go home and pray the kids were going to be ok instead.

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Dixie Jones 1 year, 10 months ago

I was in the parking lot when police arrived, the lady that had called 911 was near me and told me what she had seen and called 911 she deserves a huge KUDOS. scary to think what would of happened to these precious lives had she minded her own business. Im sure she had a sleepless night last night. Bless her.

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costello 1 year, 10 months ago

According to cjonline:

"When the officer attempted to question a man near the vehicle, he resisted contact with the officer, who then attempted to place the man in custody, McKinley said. When the man further resisted by getting in his vehicle, the officer used a Taser to subdue him with the help of other arriving officers."

Also, apparently they were headed to Arizona to visit relatives - not to join a polygamist cult or whatever someone above said.

Most of the comments above seem to reflect the personal biases of the individual posters rather than anything corresponding to reality. I can imagine scenarios where the parents are monsters and scenarios where they're completely innocent (maybe the teenagers tied up the little kids while the parents were away from the vehicle, who knows?) and other scenarios where they just showed incredibly bad judgment.

I can't imagine being broken down in a strange city with five kids and apparently lacking the resources to repair my vehicle and get back on the road - or even to get a motel room. Tempers may have been short and they did something stupid they might not have done otherwise. It doesn't make it right, but it also doesn't make them monsters.

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brokenwing1026 1 year, 10 months ago

I would recommend just checking cjonline's website, or googling the news story if you want more information, including the parent's names, where they are from, info from the landlord, etc.

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pace 1 year, 10 months ago

The parent should be arrested in a professional manner, that is the safest and I am sure the method the police require. The children deserve protection. I hope the kids are ok. It sounds terrible for them. The suggestions the police should mete out extra punishment as they arrest the parents in response to the children's condition does a real disservice to the police. They have a tough job and do not need to be goaded into the role of fulfilling some of the sadist's fantasies that post on this forum. Thanks to the citizen that called in her suspicions, she might of saved those kids. Good for her. I am glad the arrest went in such a way that the children were put into a protective space. It sounds like the officers gave the teens time to come out of their car on their own.
But no, I don't support the yahoos on this forum that hope to turn the police into some sort of extra revenge and attack squad. Leave it to the courts. The police have a real job, not the emotional overcharged role some seem to be calling for. If some officer shares the view that he or she should give some extra shocks because of the children's plight, he or she is doing a disservice to the good officers that act professionally.

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buffalobill 1 year, 10 months ago

And yeah the man did need to be tazed...probably a lot more than he was. Maybe even kicked in the ribs a few times and accidentally have his head banged on the door of the cruiser while being introduced to the police vehicle.

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SweetHorndew 1 year, 10 months ago

Nancy Grace should be tazed as well!

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katydee58 1 year, 10 months ago

Our govement is not quilified to raise our children, nor is some of the other people in this world. Children having children, if the parents weren't so scared of there children and would educatate them then there wouldn't be so many children having babies. School your school your children at home parents! Teach them the facts of life and stop leaving it up the the teachers at school it is not there job to raise your children and keep track of who they are hanging out with and TALK to them and found out what they are doing. Parents grow up and take responsibility be Parents not there friend!!!!!

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JackMcKee 1 year, 10 months ago

Falsy "this is Obama's fault. Don't even try to blame W because I already called firsties"

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tomatogrower 1 year, 10 months ago

This situation could bring in national news, and it's the kind of story Nancy Grace likes. If she comes to town, I say we tazer the guy again.

toe, if these children were really bound and blindfolded, that is abuse. Maybe you think that it's a parent's right to abuse their children, but fortunately we don't live in that kind of society. And I really hope you don't have any children.

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toe 1 year, 10 months ago

All children should be raised by the government. Only licensed people should be able to have offspring.

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ivalueamerica 1 year, 10 months ago

you really do not get it.

If he was tazered to excess, he might go free for something like that.

I really love our country, I really hate people who abuse children.

However, I will not abandon the laws and values of our country, dismiss the constitution whenever I hate someone, no matter how vile.

No one has sympathy for the guy being tazed, no one.

The point is that we, as a nation, have a honor bound obligation to protect our nation and protect the constitution, you can not exchange one for the other, or we will not longer be America.

I could honestly care less if the guy had a heart condition and died from being tazed, he is a monster....I care about us not being just like him.

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blindrabbit 1 year, 10 months ago

rockchalk1977: Back to your demented fascination of Obama; kinda like the Jerry Sandusky boy worship saga we are learning about!

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2bluforu 1 year, 10 months ago

From the woman who made the call -- the children had tied hands and duck tape over their mouth. As a parent and grandparent I find it appalling that we have this type of thing going on in our society. All I can say is give your children/grandchildren an extra hug and be thankful that they are safe. Hold their hands and keep them close, it's so important.

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verity 1 year, 10 months ago

I think this should be a lesson to all of us to watch what is going on around us. Sometimes we might notice something that doesn't seem quite right, but we don't want to look foolish, so we go on and don't do anything.

Better sometimes to look foolish or to be nosey than to let a child or pet be abused or even die.

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James Minor 1 year, 10 months ago

Hmm!!! Ilinois to Arizona, maybe they were going to some type of weirdo village? Were they poligamists? Sex Slave trading? Trading kids for guns? There are alot of nuts in Arizona, lovin their guns, weed, and their right wing constitution!!!!

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KEITHMILES05 1 year, 10 months ago

Walmart has those old people security guards driving around constantly and they should have noticed this vehicle sitting for 2 days. Sad.

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conlawgrad 1 year, 10 months ago

What is going on in Lawrence these days???

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Liberty275 1 year, 10 months ago

Are there laws against tying up your kids or blindfolding them? I'm not sure those (assuming the binding wasn't tight enough to injure the child) are abuse or endangerment. Granted there are probably extenuating circumstances, but I don't see them mentioned.

Justifying my opinions on the binding and the blindfolding, some people keep their kids on leashes at places like the renfair, and that is a form of binding. Kids have their hands tied behind their back when they bob for apples. The neighbor's kids get a pinata for their birthdays, and they are blindfolded when swinging at it. Those actions aren't illegal that I know of.

I'm not defending the parents, but I think there needs to be malice shown before we go overboard screaming "bound and blindfolded!!!". I'll agree it sounds fishy and everything was probably handled appropriately by the police, but we really need more info.

As for the tasing, it's better than getting beat up or shot, but it really needs to be kept at the absolute minimum.

Hopefully this award-winning news corporation will fill in the details at some later time.

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smokey 1 year, 10 months ago

Lets be glad those rotten hippies didn't stop Walmart! Without Walmart those kids would have never been found. Imagine if we got a Lowes?

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rockchalk1977 1 year, 10 months ago

I saw a Obama Biden bumper sticker on that Suburban. Or did it say Osama Bin Laden. My eyesight hasn't been good lately.

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whats_going_on 1 year, 10 months ago

Does this have anything to do with the apparent crazy stuff in front of Dillons? Crazy day today.

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irvan moore 1 year, 10 months ago

i hate to say this but i don't think we've heard the worst of this story yet

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CWGOKU 1 year, 10 months ago

Anyone seen my Suburban? I left it parked at Walmart ...

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seriouscat 1 year, 10 months ago

My prayers are going out to those poor abused kids! Thank you to ALL the people involved in removing them from such a terrible situation...however imperfectly it was done.

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true_patriot 1 year, 10 months ago

Wal-Mart is notorious for cutting costs on security and cameras in their parking lots, even in areas where there have been prior serious incidents involving theft and bodily harm.

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akt2 1 year, 10 months ago

It's a pretty small parking lot for something like that to be going on for two days right under management's nose.

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Mumoftwo 1 year, 10 months ago

People are worried about this guy being tasered but um hello what about the children? He didn't deserve to be tasered who the eff cares he had children bound in his vehicle.

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americangirl44 1 year, 10 months ago

No attention to myself is necessary please, I just thought the public needs to be aware that there are sickos in our area all the time and please keep an eye on your children and the situations around you. This was a very sad scene to watch and although I do not fully understand the situation, there are children involved who had their hands tied and they were"blindfolded" (as I stand corrected). Yes, much thanks to the lady with enough sense to call 911. I apologize to anyone whom I have offended. It was a very exciting scene and I am a nosy lady who wanted answers to what was witnessed today.

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Pywacket 1 year, 10 months ago

What a creepy situation! And if this vehicle really sat there for two days, how odd that no WalMart employees noticed it! Don't they have a guy in some kind of glorified golf cart who patrols the parking lot? The WalMart on Iowa does--or used to.

I hope we will see updates to this--I'm sure everybody is concerned about the welfare of these kids. It sounds like things could have gone very badly for them. KUDOS to the person who called in the report!! That should give her good karma for a long time to come. :-)

As an aside..... LJW--you really need to proofread this article when someone has a minute. It's a bit of a mess.

Two examples: In para. 2, "blinded folded" should read "blindfolded."

Para. 5 & 6 create confusion. They say, in part:

"Initially at least three of the children refused to leave the vehicle. At 11:45 a.m. three teenagers left the vehicle and got into cars with investigators.The five children are ages 4 to 17.

Two younger children were also taken into police custody, McKinley said."

The way this is written, it is impossible to tell whether there was a total of five or seven children (with the five whose ages are listed being in the Suburban and the two in the McKinley quote, next paragraph, being found outside the vehicle???), whether the three who initially refused to leave the vehicle were the three teens or a combo of teens and younger kids (it says the five in that paragraph ranged from 4 to 17), or what. Depending on the answers to these questions, the fix could go a couple of different ways.

There are other poorly written bits in this article, but those are the most egregious.

After all the downsizing at the LJW over the last few years, necessitating spreading more work among fewer people, I have to wonder how much the owners/execs are making... and whether some of that should be going to hire and retain copyeditors and proofreaders. I'm a tolerant reader, coming from the editorial profession myself--I know how tight deadlines are, etc...but this reads as if it went through a shredder after George handed it over.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 10 months ago

"The child was also blinded folded"

I'm not sure what this means.

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friendlyjhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Americangirl-If you just HEARD this and that from a third party why would you bother to post it except to call attention to yourself? Are you in such need of attention that you would post speculation instead of truths regarding a situation as potentially horrible as this situation is. The 911 caller is the hero in this followed by the police who detained these people.

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friendlyjhawk 1 year, 10 months ago

Americangirl-If you just HEARD this and that from a third party why would you bother to post it except to call attention to yourself? Are you in such need of attention that you would post speculation instead of truths regarding a situation as potentially horrible as this situation is. The 911 caller is the hero in this followed by the police who detained these people.

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g_rock 1 year, 10 months ago

WOW. I hope that the children are ok!! I'm shocked that something like that went down in Lawrence. But I guess crazy happens everywhere.

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somedude20 1 year, 10 months ago

Good job to the person who called 911. You may have very well saved those kid's lives.

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autie 1 year, 10 months ago

Sounds like a premise for another episode of criminal mnds or something.

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Richard Ballard 1 year, 10 months ago

Well, they won't let you live in junker vans in front of South Park anymore.

Where else you gonna park and tie up your kids but Walmart?

rc

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americangirl44 1 year, 10 months ago

There were 5 or more children in the suburban. I heard it was out in the parking lot for over 2 days, with coverings over the windows. The children had their hands bound behind their backs and mouths taped shut. They arrested a woman who from what I heard was purchasing tarps and a baseball bat. The man was tasered in the parking lot several times, and onlookers heard him screaming, "Hallelujah"...Last thing I heard before I left Walmart was that police were calling it some kind of an abduction and the children were taken to the hospital for medical attention. Why no one noticed or checked on the vehicle until today worries me! A female customer saw a child bound in the vehicle and called 911... All I can say is if all of what I heard is true then those sick bastards need to pay. AND again, I heard all of this from another customer. Not sure how much of it is true...

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christiangirl93 1 year, 10 months ago

If the LJW had a WTF section, this story would totally be in it.

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