NOTE: VERY LIGHT BLOGGING THIS A.M. MORE STORIES AS THE DAY WEARS ON
Okay, here was the initial story, as reported Wednesday by the Los Angeles Times:
A Great Dane snatched a 6-month-old baby from her mother’s arms in Monrovia and ran with the girl in his mouth before dropping her in the street, authorities said Wednesday.
The baby’s mother was talking in the doorway of a neighbor’s home Monday when the 180-pound dog rushed out, slammed into her, snatched the baby with his jaws and ran off, said Lt. Michael Lee of the Monrovia Police Department.
The dog ran about 200 feet, carrying the baby by her right side, before dropping her in the street, Lee said. Police and paramedics found her there and airlifted the baby to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center after the 2:45 p.m. incident in the 600 block of Laurel Lane.
As of Thursday afternoon, according to the Monrovia PD, the baby is in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery, even thought the entire situation was damned scary.
But, as if the whole horrific baby snatching incident wasn’t bad enough, there were these lines embedded in the story.
No criminal charges have been filed, but the Department of Children and Family Services is “pushing an investigation” into whether the mother did enough to protect her child, Lee said.
Let me get this straight. A mother and baby are both traumatized, the baby nearly killed when a neighbor’s humongous, out-of-control dog lunges out from inside the neighbor’s house, snatches a 6-month old out of its mother’s arms, and DCFS plans to further traumatize all concerned by investigating the mom?
I called the Monrovia police department and spoke with Captain Jim Hunt about the whole DCFS issue. He was unequivocal. “There’s absolutely nothing that mother could have done,” said Hunt. “Nothing. The mother actually had a cut on her hand from trying to protect the baby.”
According to Hunt, it was someone at the hospital that called DCFS, meaning that social workers were honor bound to look into it.
“Hopefully family services will talk to officers and see quickly that there’s no way this is a case,” Hunt said, making no attempt to hide his frustration at the whole DCFS matter.
Yes, let us hope.
The dog attack was Monday. I talked to Captain Hunt on Thursday—enough time, one would think, to talk to police and witnesses and conclude that there’s nothing to see here, folks.
Anyway, a case worth keeping an eye on.
UPDATE: The National Coalition for Child Welfare Reform director, Richard Wexler, who pointed out the Great Dane story to me, has a post on the issue in which he expresses concern that DCFS may be more likely to wrongly pursue a case like this one, for fear of being labeled lax if they do not, because of the publicity around recent child deaths where social workers did not correctly read the signals.
BOEHNER CRIES, TOM LUTZ SEZ WHY
My very smart pal, Tom Lutz-–author of (along with other works) Crying: The Natural and Cultural History of Tears“—has written an Op Ed on the matter of John Boehner’s tears that is by far the best of the essays on the matter that have been floated.