"he is a great father"

One of my pet peeves involves babies being tossed onto roadways. I've complained about this in blog posts, but unfortunately, that does not seem to have stopped the problem.

A 21-year-old man was arrested Saturday after he threw his daughter into oncoming traffic and then attacked witnesses and police who were trying to subdue him, authorities said.

The 18-month-old girl was not badly injured.

The wheels of an oncoming Volkswagen Jetta did not touch her, but she was burned and scraped by the car's undercarriage, police said.

The suspect, John Taylor, was stunned with a Taser and suffered minor injuries. Police did not release the girl's name but said she lives with her mother in an East Bay city.

She was visiting her father Saturday, and they had been at a friend's house. Police were still unsure Sunday afternoon why Taylor acted as he did.

The incident began about 5:30 p.m. Saturday when an off-duty police officer saw Taylor pick up and shake the girl on Fifth Avenue near East 15th Street, then toss her into a traffic lane, investigators said. She then was hit by the Jetta, and the officer gave chase to Taylor after a neighbor came to the car and pulled her out.

That neighbor was Diana Castro, who said the elderly couple in the Jetta was confused about what was happening, but stopped the car. Castro heard the commotion from inside her home, ran to the car and pulled her out from under.

"The baby was completely under it. It was scary because if the lady driving it accelerated at all she could run it over," Castro said.

Why the British Daily Mail would have more information about the story than a local Bary Area paper, I don't know. But they report the additional detail that the man and the baby's mother were separated, but even so, the mother calls him "a great father":
An off-duty policeman said he saw Taylor, 21, who is separated from the child's mother and was looking after Jayla for a day, shake the girl by the roadside.

He then allegedly threw the toddler into the traffic and then ran off, punching and kicking stopped cars as he fled, while a neighbour rescued the baby.

Drivers tried to stop Taylor as he ran from police and, when officers caught up with him, they found him in a violent scuffle with motorists.

He is then said to have brawled with police who eventually shot him with a Taser and arrested him on suspicion of willful cruelty to a child, vandalism, resisting arrest and battery on an officer.

Miss Bartholemew, however, says she doesn't believe the story and says her former partner was under attack and did what he could to protect their baby.

'I'm hurting now because I know my baby's father is in jail facing charges and I don't feel that it is reasonable,' she told NBC News.

'Anybody who feels that they think that John had thrown the baby out, please get that out your mind - there is no reason to believe that. He is a great father to her.'

Even taking the mother at her word, I'm still having trouble understanding.

Perhaps it's because I've never experienced fatherhood, though. But putting myself in the position of being the father of an 18 month old child -- or even the caretaker of someone else's 18 month old child -- it's hard to imagine any sort of attack which would justify throwing the child into traffic. If the child were being attacked, I would try to stop the attacker. How could it possibly "protect" a child to throw it into the street in front of oncoming traffic? What kind of "father" would do such a thing.

My suspicion is that the father is an out-of-control monster, and that the failure of the baby's mother to recognize this indicates that she is not a good mother. Absent some sort of proof that what happened is completely different than what is being reported, I think her statement that "he is a great father" is proof that she is an unfit mother (assuming there are still such categories).

If the child had been a dog, I doubt the local Humane Society would allow her to have it back. Nor would I.

(But once again, there are a lot of things we would never allow to happen to dogs that we routinely allow to happen to people.)

posted by Eric on 07.13.10 at 11:05 AM


His behavior seems so bizarre I wonder if drugs or a medical condition may be involved. Hopefully more details will be released.

Andrew C   ·  July 13, 2010 3:10 PM

Clearly we need new laws against throwing babies into traffic, and also a Presidential commission.

TallDave   ·  July 14, 2010 12:19 PM

I wish I hadn't read that. I'm nauseous now.

Donna B.   ·  July 14, 2010 12:35 PM

I'd agree with your suspicions about these parents. Of course, one mustn't be too hard on these sorts of parents who were no doubt raised to believe that indeterminacy is a moral imperative and that if something feels true than it must be, no matter what the facts actually suggest.

Kurt   ·  July 14, 2010 1:28 PM

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