I walked down the corridor to the elevator, seething that anyone could hurt a child like that. My God, the kid had broken bones, and who knew what else.
I felt my anger building, as the doors opened, and I climbed into the elevator, starting down towards the lobby.
First Peter, and then some punks putting Brian through hell, and almost taking Sammy from me, and now this, not to mention everything Brian had lived with these past few years.
I just couldn't understand people who could treat children that way.
I knew it happened, and happened all the time, but it didn't allow me an understanding of it. I didn't want to understand it, and hoped I never would.
To me, there was no understanding of it. My stomach had turned, when a few years ago, some woman had killed her kids, and they said 'we had to understand' it.
Well I didn't want to; 'fry the bitch' is my opinion.
I have heard all the psychological mumble jumble about this that and the other thing, but it didn't change my opinion at all. There was no excuse for it.
Even if the abuser had been abused themselves, then they knew, knew what they were doing was wrong.
I certainly wouldn't win any liberal of the year awards, but then again in this, I didn't want to.
I saw it all the time, and it still turned my stomach, after all these years.
I had a case a couple of years ago, that to this day, I think about. A man had raped, in the full sense of the word, his two year old daughter, and then went into court claiming that he had been molested when he was a child, so that excused what he had done. The judge had agreed sentencing him to one year of psychiatric treatment, and ordered visitation to be allowed with his daughter. I wasn't sure who I wanted to strangle more, the judge or daddy.
It of course was appealed, and the Montana Supreme Court had taken it in emergency session, overturning the trial court judge's decision, and imposing a life sentence in prison, plus 99 years just to be safe, but I still think about that child.
She was still undergoing reconstructive surgery.
It was also ensured that daddy would have an entirely new understanding of what being molested meant as well.
It offered some small comfort, but not a lot.
The judge was thrown out of office, and moved to California, where I heard he got elected to the bench quite easily.
I just never would understand it though.
The doors opened, as I reigned in my temper, to see the lobby filled with uniforms, and I knew I needed to say something, as the all stood up and approached me.
I stopped and told them, "first of all, thank you all very much for this, from both of us. Sammy is going to be ok. The injury wasn't all that serious, by itself. What was serious, was the blood loss, which caused his heart..."
I stopped a moment, as I had choked up, looking down for a moment, to regain my composure before looking back at the group, all of which had sympathy plainly in their eyes.
"Sorry, the blood loss caused his heart to stop, but...umm...the paramedics were able to get it going again, at the scene, and he is going to be alright, matter of fact he's hungry already." I told them which got laughs, and then they were all coming up and patting me on the back, wishing us well, and sending their love to SamSam.
Finally, after talking with a few of them, I grabbed 4 deputies and asked them if they could accompany me to make an arrest, on a violent child abuser, and they of course readily agreed.
I told them to meet me on C-Tac 7E which stood for encrypted, which would allow us to be in contact with dispatch, without anyone being able to overhear us.
Better safe than sorry, I figured, as a lot of people had scanners out here.
We each found our vehicles. And I made sure to turn my portable on to the appropriate channel, and while contacting dispatch,
"41 Sam on 7E."
"Go ahead 41 Sam"
"41 Sam is 10-49 to 322 Frontier Lane re a 242/273 suspect with four other units. 10-34 this frequency," I advised them, letting them know I was en-route to that address to arrest a subject, and to keep the channel clear for our use.
"10-4 41 Sam," she told me, before asking for the ids of the other units going with me. Then I heard her put out a county wide broadcast, restricting our channel, as I drove to Chris's home address.
I pulled up down the street, and the other units parked around me, as I got out and we walked down the street towards the house. I could see a man through the front window sitting in a chair, probably watching TV, as I knocked on the door.
I had propped the screen open, and waited as he pulled the door open then seeing who it was, tried to slam it shut again.
Didn't work, as I slammed it back into him, forcing my way into the house, and even though he tried to scramble away from me, I quickly grabbed him, and took great pleasure in putting him on the ground.
Surprisingly, he fought me, usually they really don't like taking on someone past puberty.
I could feel all the rage and pain filling me, as I hit him and hit him again, until he stopped fighting.
"You wanna fight huh, like beating up little kids you fucking asshole; well let's see how you like this." I said as I turned him over fully and brought my hand back to his pleading.
I heard a couple of the deputies say "Mike," but all I could think about was that boy in the hospital room, Sammy, Peter, and Brian, all the pain and hurt they had suffered because of people like this.
I heard a noise as my fist prepared to strike and looked up to find a young boy, standing there with a scared look on his face looking at me, with horror in his eyes.
As I looked into the horror there, it seemed to be replaced by another set of eyes, this time filled with love, Sammy's eyes,
Then it was over, as quickly as it had begun, and I found that my hand was still in the air as the anger at this thing went back to controllable levels, once again.
I shook my head, as I turned him over and placed cuffs on him, and told him, "you have the right to remain silent, and it would be a really good idea if you do," before roughly hauling him up and handing him to one of the deputies, who took him out to his unit.
I then looked to the boy, who was still standing there terrified, and I said, softly, "I'm sorry about that, but its ok now."
I kept eye contact with him, and saw him after several minutes of silence, begin to relax slightly.
"Why?" he asked simply, but there was so much more in that one word,
"I met your brother," which elicited a gasp from him.
"Chris, is he..."
"He's ok, my son is sharing a room with him," I told him.
"He told me about your step dad." I said quietly.
I watched the fear return full fold and it left no doubt if there had been any of that man's guilt.
"It's ok now." I repeated.
He was shaking his head and mumbling "No."
"Listen to me, Derek," which caused his head to come up, at the sound of his name in surprise,
"Chris told me," I said smiling,
"You guys are safe now; he will never hurt you again."
"Yes he will," the small boy said, with absolute certainty in his voice.
It tore me up to hear that, no hope no nothing, except a complete acceptance of his fate, or what he thought of as his fate.
"No, he won't." I told him again.
"Derek, he is going to go to jail, for a very long time, you guys will be grown-ups before he ever gets out." I told him then, "he can't hurt you anymore, ever again. I promise."
"He said he would." in a whisper
"I know, he can say a lot of stuff, but it doesn't mean he can do anything about it."
"But..." Derek stated to say, but I gently interrupted him, telling him,
"Derek, people who hurt kids usually tell them things like that, so the kids won't tell."
"He can't hurt you anymore, we won't let him."
He just looked at me, and I could see some of the stiffness leave him, along with a bit of the fear, so I said, "how about if we go and find your mom, and then take you guys to your brother."
"Ok," he said, softly.
"It really will be alright, I promise you, Derek."
He just looked at me and like my other kids, locked his gaze with mine, reading the truth of the words held within them.
I guess he saw that I meant it, because more of the fear, and tension left his little body, and I started forward, suddenly finding my arms full of 11 year old, as I held him to me, and the tears came.
We ended up sinking down to the floor, while I held him, and I just let him cry it out, for now.
I had an idea of the constant tension that he had lived under, and he was a beginning to rid himself of all the pain, so I just held him, rubbing his back softly, as he cried at least some of it out.
Eventually as with all storms this one too began to abate, and he began to calm, as I felt the shudders slowly subsiding until they were quiet once again, and he raised his head to look at me.
"For what little one? We all need a good cry sometimes."
He gave me a look of disbelief, but didn't say anything, and I could feel him pulling away a bit, so I pulled him to me in big hug, which he returned, after a moment, before I kissed the top of his head, and released him.
We both stood up and he looked at me shyly, saying,
"No problem, anytime you need someone, I'll be here, ok?" and got the intense look again as he read the truth in my eyes.
And it was the truth, and he could tell as a he looked at me that I meant every word, as a shy smile now replaced the guarded look, and I put my arm around him, and began walking out to my unit, as he tucked himself snugly into me.
Somehow, I knew that these two were going to be a part of our lives as well, even though it didn't look like they needed a new home.
I led him down to the rig, and had him jump in, while I closed the door, to speak to the deputy that had come up.
"What do you want him charged with?"
"Start with felony child abuse, with great bodily injury, felony assault and battery, on a minor, felony intimidation, assault and battery on a peace officer, and resisting arrest. We'll see what else we can add later. Tell the DA I want to be contacted, and he is a no bail; also put a watch on him, at the jail."
"Suicide watch?" he asked.
I shook my head "no, idiots releasing him, watch. I want to be notified of anything that happens to him, oh and make sure they put him in with someone who can show a child abuser the ropes," I added, with malice in my voice.
He chuckled and said, "Don't worry about the last, old Ben's on duty today."
That got me laughing, as Ben didn't care for them at all.
I got in the unit, and cleared the channel, switching everything back over to primary, and after finding out where Derek's mother was working, advised them I would be en-route to that location, for follow-up.
"Derek, when we get there, I need you to stay in the car for me, alright?"
"Ok but can I see my mom?"
"Of course, honey, I just need to talk to her first, ok?"
"Ok," he said
"Derek, I also need to ask you something, and I need you to tell me the truth, even if it's hard or embarrassing, ok?"
He looked at me with some trepidation, but nodded his head saying softly, "Ok."
"I need to know if your stepfather ever did anything besides hit you?"
"Well he wouldn't let us go out or play with our friends, and we couldn't have anybody over. He would lock us in our rooms, when we were bad, and sometimes he wouldn't feed us dinner."
I was almost sorry I hadn't hit the SOB, when I heard that one phrase, 'when we were bad' I had heard it so many times, before but I needed to know if anything else had happened.
"Derek this might be really hard for you to answer, but I really need to know the truth, ok?"
"Did your stepfather ever touch you or Chris on your penis or butt?"
"Huh?" he looked at me confused which was a very good sign.
Did he ever touch you or make you touch him the way you and Chris were touching each other?"
I asked bluntly, which caused him to blush bright red, as he shook his head no saying, "no he never did that, he would hit us if we even ran from the bathroom to our bedroom without any clothes on, he never did stuff like that."
"Yes, I would tell you, he didn't." he said.
I believed him, which, thankfully meant that he hadn't been subjected to that, at least, but one more question "What about Chris?"
"Ok, I had to ask, honey, lets go get your mom."
That got a smile, as he said, "ok."
I put the unit in gear, and headed out to mommy.
About half way there a small voice asked,
"Are me and Chris in trouble?"
"Trouble, no honey, why would you be in trouble?" I asked him.
"Because of what we did. He said we would burn in hell, and he said if he ever got in trouble, we would too," he told me.
I really hoped he got a good mentor, when he got to the jail, a real good one.
"Well, son, that's pure bullshit!" I told him bluntly, to reinforce the point.
I could tell I had shocked him, as I continued, "I will tell you the same thing I told Chris, and that is the stuff you were doing is normal and natural, and that a lot, and I mean a whole lot, of boys do that stuff, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, so have fun, as long as you want to do it. As to the other, he told you that to scare you into not talking to anyone about the way he treated you."
He remained quiet, the rest of the way to his mom's, assimilating what I had told him, I think, and when we pulled up, I told him again,
"Ok Derek, you need to wait in the car, no matter what, until I come and get you, ok?"
I got out and went in and asked for Samantha Perry, and moments later, a tired looking woman with kind eyes came up to me.
"I'm Samantha Perry, can I help you officer?" she asked me.
"Hi, my name is Mike Reynolds, is there someplace we can speak in private, please?"
Now I could see the fear of every parent enter her eyes, as she gasped,
"They're fine, Mrs. Perry, they're fine, but I do need to speak with you alone about them," I told her
I could see her heart start beating again, and her breathing resume, as she shakily said "this way," and lead me back to an office which apparently was used for a conference room.
After shutting the door, she sat down, and I pulled out a chair, as well.
"Ok, we're alone, what's going on here?" she asked, all niceties put aside. I could still see the worry but she had control of it for the moment.
"Mrs. Perry, I don't know how to tell you this, hell there is no easy way to do it," I told her, pausing for a moment, I hated this.
In a very kind and gentle voice she said, "Just say whatever it is Mike,"
I looked up at her and into her eyes, and believe it or not she was showing me compassion, and I knew without a shadow of a doubt, that this was going to break her heart.
"Samantha, first off, the boys are ok. But what I have to tell you is going to be very hard on you, and I'm very sorry."
She nodded her head, as I continued, the worry and fear plainly back in her voice,
"You know, Chris is in the hospital," and she nodded her head, "but you said..."
"He is, he's fine. He had pizza a while ago, with my bunch." I said, smiling slightly
"Yes, my son was injured earlier today," I told her
"I'm sorry," she told me in response.
I knew I was putting this off but...
"It's not your fault Samantha, remember that."
"You're scaring Me." she said.
"He's in the hospital because your husband put him there." I said quickly.
I watched as the emotions played across her face, and in her eyes,
Shock, disbelief, horror and finally anger.
"That son of a bitch!" she said. drawing the words out slowly.
"He has been physically abusing both boys, and this time he lost control and severely injured Chris," I told her.
I could see the tears rolling down her face, as the questions came, how did it happen, why did it happen, how come she hadn't noticed anything, why hadn't the boys came to her. Then I watched as she turned it on herself blaming herself, for what happened.
"Sam, he was very good at terrifying the kids into silence, by using threats and shame."
"I don't understand," she said.
"He threatened the other boy to each boy, and he threatened you to both of them. He told them they would get into trouble if he did. I think he threatened to kill all of you."
I watched as the horror came back to her eyes and face, "But why?"
"He is someone who hurts people, and children are the easiest targets for those type of people." I said, sadly.
"You need to know what happened that led up to Chris being in the hospital," I said to her softly.
At that she looked up and faced me, knowing it was bad.
"You need to know, that what happened, is something normal and natural, and they didn't do anything wrong." I said
"Were they masturbating?" she asked.
"Each other." I said bluntly
She gasped, and then surprised me with the anger and disgust in her voice.
"HE did that to my baby, just because they were playing with each other, I'm going to kill that bastard." She stood up as I quickly reached out and grabbed her.
She struggled screaming, "let me go, let me go, he's fucking dead!" but I didn't let her go, as I held her in my arms, much like I did her son, a short while ago.
"Please, oh please," she cried, as I just kept a tight hold on her, and like her son, a short while ago, she soon collapsed in my arms, crying hysterically over what her sons had been through.
I just held her as I did Derek, and stroked her back, softly telling her that everything was going to be ok now, over and over again.
And finally also like Derek, the storm calmed, and still crying, she looked up at me and said forlornly, "they must hate me now," with such pain in her voice and looking so completely lost, as if she were a small child who had her world ended.
"No, no they don't hate you, they are worried sick about you, and that he would hurt you, but you're their mother, and they love you so much."
"But I let..." she started to say,
"NO! You didn't 'let' anything happen, these people are very good at what they do, and you couldn't have known, because he kept them terrified of anyone finding out."
"Then how did...?" she started to ask.
I chuckled as I said "you have to meet my bunch and that'll answer your question, it wasn't me, it was my 11 year old son, Sammy, and 6 year old son Peter, somehow they got through to him, and made him feel safe with trusting me."
"They must be something," she said with a soft smile on her face.
"Yea they are, I just haven't figured out quite what yet." I told her, chuckling again, which got another smile from her, as she asked, "you're sure, I feel so guilty."
"I'm sure, they are worried sick that you'll be safe and that you'll be mad at them."
"Mad?" she asked me with disbelief in her voice, as she went on "what on earth would I be mad at them for?"
"Well knowing kids in these situations, and the specifics of this situation, I think it is a combination of several things. First of all with everything he told them, they are scared to death, that you'll be mad, and won't love them anymore, for what they were doing, and the other thing is, that you'll hate them for breaking up the family."
"That's ridiculous, I could never hate them or stop loving them." she said vehemently.
"Well you need to let them know that, ok?"
"You better believe I will." she said forcefully, as I realized I was still holding onto her.
I released her, and realized she was blushing a bit, and I knew my face was heated a bit as well.
"Good you can start with someone out in the car, who really needs to see you right now."
I nodded my head, as I told her "yes, he's in the car, and I have to take you both down there so he can be examined."
"O.k." she said, getting up and I followed as she headed out.
"I just want to see my babies" she told me.
"I know," I said as I followed her out as she told an older woman that she was leaving for the day due to an emergency.
I don't think she liked it much, but she wisely kept her mouth shut.
Samantha had just gone through the doors when there was a streak exiting my unit and in seconds a small crying bundle was wrapped firmly around Samantha's body, crying,
"Mommy, mommy!" while mommy just kept saying
"Ssshhhh little one, shhhh.'
When she got him calmed down eventually, they were both covered in tears, as I escorted them to the unit, and got them settled in, cuddling each other.
"Derek, we are going to the hospital now, where you both will get to see Chris, but first the doctors have to examine you, and take some pictures, ok?"
"What do you mean examine?" he asked suspiciously
Samantha laughed softly and said, "it means look at, no shots."
"Oh well that's ok then," he said impishly.
"Well I am certainly glad we have your approval," I told him, which got a scowl from him, as he wasn't certain whether or not I was teasing him.
I put the car into gear and headed out to the hospital, advising dispatch of that fact, and requesting a detective unit with a camera to meet us for documentation.
When we got to the emergency room, Derek was immediately taken back and examined, and while having numerous bruises on his body, which pictures were taken of, he was alright.
Samantha stayed outside with me the entire time, even though I think she would rather have been with Derek.
Eventually a nurse brought Derek back into the room, smiling and holding a lollipop like he was 4 instead of 11, but it was obvious he didn't care.
What surprised me though, was when he came up and wrapped his arms around me, and gave me a big hug, which I eagerly returned, and grinned up and said
"Your welcome, little one." I told him, smiling gently down at him.
"Are you ready to go and see your big brother?" I asked him
"Ok then," and I took him towards the elevators, with Samantha walking alongside.
I told the detective who walked up to us, to give us about 15 or so before he came up, and kept walking.
When the elevator door opened, and we exited on the correct floor, I led them down to the room and opened the door, to complete silence, as I stepped into the room.
All three of us came to a halt, as six pairs of eyes all locked on us before yelling "DAD," and "UNCLE MIKE," and 5 of them got up, causing me to brace myself, as the hug monsters attacked.
When they had all given and received a bunch of hugs and kisses, I heard a very scared "mom," come from across the room, and then with Samantha crying suddenly, "oh baby," she was running across the room, as we all silently watched her try her damnedest, to get her other son, into a gigantic hug.
She didn't do too bad of a job either.
Derek was right there with them, as we watched silently from where we were, and I slowly walked over to Sammy's bed, where Brian was pulling the curtain between the beds to afford them a little privacy, before turning back to my newest, and picking him up, and giving him about twice as many hugs and kisses as the rest got.
Which, by the way, they noticed and quickly piled onto the bed to make sure they got their fair share as well.
Eric was watching all of this, with an indulgent smile on his face, and I knew he loved this as much as I did.
There was nothing quite like it, in existence, and I savored every second, especially after today.
Finally, Sammy, who had been the latest to wiggle to the forefront, in the hugging department, said, "Dad you can let go now?"
"Get used to it SamSam, I ain't ever gonna let you go." I said, smiling and giving him another kiss, which got giggles from him, and the others, as I laid back with Sammy in my arms, and everyone snuggled around me, just basking in the love flowing from them.
It couldn't get any better than this.
"What if I have to go to the bathroom?" smart ass asked me,
"Hmmm, you got a point there, guess I'll have to get some diapers." I said seriously, which got giggles and a "daaaaaaaaaaad," from him which was the icing on the cake, just as I heard Samantha announce loudly,
"...and I want you both to know you can play with each other anytime you want," to a chorus of
While we lost it and broke into unrestrained laughter.