Mom stunned at DARE officer's response to incident

Norwalk police officer says he never told woman's son that what happened was his fault.
Cary Ashby
May 6, 2014

 

Jennifer Bowman is shocked how a DARE officer handled her 6-year-old son being bullied.

The Norwalk mother said she can't believe Norwalk Police officer Dave Daniels told her son it was his fault an older boy retaliated for an assault on his sister by threatening to hurt him. The officer also recommended Bowman's son "stay hidden" in the house for several days.

"The way Daniels handled it was absurd," Bowman said.

Daniels, however, said he never told Bowman's son that what happened was his fault. The patrolman also said the boy wasn't bullied, since bullying is something that happens over a period of time.

"None of these juveniles" handled the situation correctly, Daniels added.

Bowman's son had to stay home from Maplehurst Elementary to heal for two days after a 10-year-old boy and about three other juveniles attacked her son at a playground near her apartment. She said the older boy had threatened her son at the bus stop about a week after her son admitted he hit the older boy's sister with a wiffle-ball bat. The sister is accused of having bullied Bowman's son for several weeks beforehand.

On April 16, Bowman said her son stood up to a girl who had been cursing and yelling at him by hitting her with a wiffle-ball bat. The girl, a neighbor, is three or four years older and is accused of bullying Bowman's son for a couple weeks before the wiffle-ball bat incident.

"He had had enough," Bowman said.

After her son told her about the incident and apologized, Bowman grounded him by prohibiting from using the Internet and Xbox or watching television for two days. She also didn't allow him to go outside.

On April 22 -- six days after the wiffle-ball bat incident, a 10-year-old boy who lives with the girl reportedly threatened Bowman's son. It's unclear if the boy is the girl's brother.

The boy said "if he hit anybody with a bat, he'd break down his door and beat the bleep out of him," Bowman said.

Also, she said the boy reportedly pushed her son to the ground when they got off the school bus.

That afternoon, after Bowman's son did his homework and had dinner, he asked his baby-sitter if he could go out and play. Bowman, who was at work at the time, said as soon as her son got to the grassy area of the playground area of the apartment complex, four or five children tackled him and attacked him by hitting her son, kicking him and poking him with sticks.

"(One boy) picked him up and slammed him to the ground twice," Bowman said. "The kids (who) are doing it are flat-out mean and rude always."

After the incident, her son returned home and told his baby-sitter what happened and "his stomach hurt," the mother said. When she returned home from work, she learned her son had thrown up once.

"He had bruises all down his arms," added Bowman, who said her son also had a bruise on his leg and scratches on his arm and ribs.

"His black eye is nearly gone," the mother said last week. "He was in pain for a couple days -- there's no doubt about that."

Bowman later went to one of the parents' homes. She said the mother told her she didn't see the playground incident, but her 5-year-old son reported the assault had been pre-planned.

"She disciplined her son and apologized to me. Her son had already apologized to (my son)," Bowman said.

Bowman then went to the home of the boy's father and when she asked to talk to someone, the father's girlfriend declined to come to the door. Bowman said the father had said he didn't know what happened.

Next, Bowman said she wanted the parents of the children to come to her apartment and talk, but "they wouldn't come down." She said one parent simply referred her to the police department if she wanted to report the incident.

"I was trying to handle it with the parents," Bowman added.

Eventually, Daniels came to her door and Bowman explained what reportedly happened. She said the DARE's officer first responded by saying what happened to her son was an act of retaliation and later said police couldn't prosecute the juveniles because they are younger than 12.

"He proceeded to tell (my son) he shouldn't hit people with a bat ever," Bowman said.

Daniels also reportedly told her it was best if her son had stayed inside until the situation calmed down. Bowman said it was impossible to know the 10-year-old boy would threaten her son six days after the wiffle-ball bat incident -- much less that he'd be assaulted by several children.

"That shouldn't have been said in front of a child because it gives my son a free pass," Bowman said, referring to the inability to pursue charges. "It goes against everything I taught him."

Daniels said he never told Bowman's son that what happened was his fault.

"I explained to him what the word retaliation meant," he said. "And I explained to him that you can't hit anybody."

"None of these juveniles were right," Daniels said, adding he told the other youngsters that they can't fight.

Daniels, however, said Bowman's son wasn't bullied; bullying is something that happens over a period of time.

The patrolman said the police department doesn't charge juveniles. He added he will send a report to the juvenile prosecutor to review.

Bowman said she later received an apology from Capt. Dave Smith, who reportedly admitted he told Daniels about the inability to prosecute the other children and Daniels "overshared" by sharing that information with her. Bowman had been unable to talk to Chief Dave Light, so police had referred her to Smith, whom she said she talked to on the phone for 36 minutes.

Editor's note: Reflector reporter Aaron Krause contributed to this story.

Comments

Stonybaby

Bowman had been unable to talk to Chief Dave Light, so police had referred her to Smith, whom she said she talked to on the phone for 36 minutes. PUT DOWN YOUR COFFEE CUP AND TALK TO THOSE YOUR SWORN TO PROTCT GOOD GUY.

mojorising

Why is this paper a tabloid now?

modern concrete

Right??? Why is this news???? Everyone wants 15 min of Fame!

indolent indiff...

just another piece of white trash mom trying to say the police did something wrong.

JMOP's picture
JMOP

That's mean. I don't see where she deserves to be called that.

Gone2work

That is very undeserving to call a mom that when all she's doing is protecting her child.

theunknownmessanger

you know this is all because of who his dad is....that's some BS....that's the problem with small towns like this...the police are already ready to give up on this kid at six years old...how sad and biased...you absolutely make me sick sometimes NPD...this is a child and bullying is a major problem...shame on you...what if his last name was light, smith, or conney...than what, i'm sure things would have been handled way differently... i gotta give props to the mom for trying your hardest to solve this the right way, unfortunately not all parents care, good for you though! keep doing the right thing and teach your kids right. its so obvious what this is.

dontcare

I agree I think the Sheriff's office should charge the officer with menacing or solicitation to commit devil worshipping, unlawful bathing of elephants or some other nonsensical thing. You now...like they did last time.

Notsocritical1

Here is a viable question? Why was a 6 year old out and about without an adult supervising him? Let's lay the blame on the cops for rearing our child! Maybe mom should be considered for a child endangerment charge for allowing a 6 year old to run free in an unsafe area.

indolent indiff...

so poor little johnny hits a girl with a bat, then the girl's brother retaliates against him and HE is being bullied? sounds like he got what he deserved.

Estrella Damm

That's what I read, but the title of article does not indicate that is what we should think of this incident.

Youwishhyouknewme's picture
Youwishhyouknewme

Sounds like you need a punch in the face. How dare you say a 6 year old boy deserves to be assaulted by multiple children.

ladydye_5

That's what I thought. This is neighborhood justice at its finest. He says he was "bullied" first. What everyone defines as bullying is about like meatloaf, everyone has their own recipe with a twist. What does this kid and his mom call bullying? I have seen first hand what some call bullying and it is nothing more than someone telling another kid to stay off the play ground, I was playing with that first, or simply telling them NO. The kids today are spoiled and completely lacking respect for anyone. The parents need to settle it. Parents get together, with the kids and settle it. Be done, shake hands and finish it. What has happened to the world!?!?!? Yes, keep the kid in the house and away from the park/playground where the other kids are. I laughed out loud at the 2 days punishment. Is that what she really did? I would have had my @s$ beat and grounded for a week!

In my opinon

@Indo...Wow, you sound like a bully. Her son is only 6 years old.

rickyr44

And at 6 years old he learned a valuable lesson that will likely remain with him for the rest of his life: Don't hit girls!

In my opinon

@ ricky44...Well it works both ways, in reading the article the girl was and had been picking on him for several weeks, shouldn't hit boys either. Did she learn any lessons or is it lessons for the male species only? Their are men who are abused by women also.

rickyr44

This article says nothing about the girl hitting the six year old boy. It says she called him names and yelled at him. I'm not saying what she did was right, but one of the problems in our society is that more and more men think it is okay to hit a girl. It's not. It never will be. Defend yourself if you are hit first, but don't hit someone over name calling. None of these kids were innocent here. Hopefully they all learned a lesson, but I don't believe the NPD should have done anything more.

itsnotme

I have multiple questions regarding this:
1. Apparently the girl was bullying the 6 year old before he hit her with a bat. Did he tell anyone about her bullying him? If so, why wasn't anything done about it before he felt it necessary to hit her with a bat?

2. Why on earth are parents allowing their small children to play unsupervised? Especially if one of them was being bullied?

3. Why does this officer think that this child was not bullied? Because "bullying takes place over time??" BS.

Parents need to step up and control their kids. This bullying BS is getting ridiculous.

mojorising

The paper is trying to create a controversy by pitting our local police forces against one another. It's truly sad that they are using sensantionalism to get viewers to the website.

-rebel

exactly

Now The Rest of...

This newspaper needs to focus on real news articles and the mother needs to get a life.

NWalk99

I disagree. It is about time that journalism focuses on the people. These are the types of articles that will hold our law enforcement accountable for their actions. When 20% of my income goes to pay taxes, I expect nothing less than exemplary performance of law enforcement and protection of my constitutional rights. Until we hold the spotlight they will never be held accountable for their actions....but when one of you are crying about yours or someone you know having your violated. I am tired of them not giving us the rights and protection we pay for and are entitled to.

Notsocritical1

NWalk99, apparently you are under the belief police officers don't pay the same taxes every other hard working citizen pays. Nothing will change or get better until parents do their part and stop putting the blame on the system. Where were the parents of these 6 year old children when this incident went down? Were these parents watching their 6 year old to make sure they were safe and doing the right thing? Maybe the city should assign a cop for every parent who fails to do their job, in order for that parent to get their 20% worth of taxes paid. I can guarantee if that were the case, more than 20% of our tax dollars would be spent for a cop to raise these ignorant parents children. Grow up, get a life and get your head out the clouds. This is one of the many problems our "entitled" citizens are doing to ruin our once great country. It's easy to lay the blame on NPD, especially when the cities own newspaper is doing everything they can do discredit them. It's very sad and depressing to see this non stop beat down of those who are trying their best to protect us!!!

Dusty

Back when I was young this was called growing up, sometimes you won sometimes you lost. We didnt need the cops to take care of our fights. 9 times out of 10 the ones fighting would end up best friends and latter in life would clear bars out fighting side by side. I worry for the young kids today!

Gone2work

Bullying is not something that happens "over time"! Bullying happens instantly when that person makes that decision to hurt another person.

These are the kind of kids that will grow up to be like Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, or Adam Lanza if the parents don't stop this now!

In my opinon

@Gone. Amen, you are absolutely right on.

Now The Rest of...

I agree with Dusty, some of our kids need to grow a pair, really don't see where this is a police matter. We want the schools to raise our kids and the police/courts to intercede in the most trivial juvenile matters. These are the same people who complains about government interference in our lives.

betrump

Please read the article. It clearly states she (the mother) tried to handle it before eventually going to the police.
What is your definition of 'growing a pair?' Beat someone up? Continue to get beat up yourself? Shoot someone? Car bomb? What?
I just don't get it...

Now The Rest of...

"I just don't get it..." No kidding. Bullies has always existed, children will be mean to each other, what did she expect when her kid attacked another kid with a bat, if anyone should have charged it was her child. Her kid is just as much of a bully, not just not very good at it. How do we know what her demeanor was when she approached the other parents, seems like the newspaper only gave her side of the story. Our police department really has more important duties that referee child's disputes. Let keep all depending on the nanny state, so yes, grow a pair...

betrump

The girl bullied the little boy for a week prior to him hitting her with a bat! READ THE ARTICLE! SMH...STUPID.

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