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No child should be going hungry because it’s 21st century America. However, this story shows just how bad the situation can be, thanks to some awful parents.
One day, a seven-year-old kid was standing in front of CVS in Franklin, Ohio. He held up a patchy teddy bear whenever a customer left of entered the store. Turns out he was trying to sell it.
Worried for the child’s safety, a customer called the police.
Officer Steve Dunham showed up at the scene a little later. The man walked up to the young child and asked why he was trying to sell his toy.
That’s when the child said that he hadn’t eaten in days and was desperate for some food money.
fficer Dunham said that he would help the child and that he wouldn’t go hungry anymore.
He and the boy went to his police car. Dunham asked the boy where his parents were as they were driving along. The cop then requested for some officers to go around to the boy’s home address, to see what his parents were doing.
The officer and the boy stopped at a nearby Subway.
Dunham bought the boy a huge sandwich and watched as he devoured it quickly. It was clear that the boy wasn’t lying about not having eaten in days. The man could only imagine how terrible his parents were.
The officer’s colleagues arrived at the boy’s parents’ home. Although they were experienced officers, who had seen many dysfunctional homes, they were absolutely mortified by what they found.
At that house, four older children were in the dwelling. They were hungry too.
And every single room in the home was very dirty. There was garbage everywhere. Even roaches were in every corner. And the stench of cat pee was overpowering.
There was only rotting food inside of the fridge.
Both parents of the children, Michael and Tammi Bethel, were both in this home surprisingly. The cops immediately arrested them and charged them with child endangerment.
Just shortly after this, all of the kids, the one with Dunham included, were all taken in by other relatives.
But despite the blindingly obvious fact that the parents were indeed being negligent of their children, the mother has continued denied it.
She went onFacebook and claimed that the cops had merely arrived on the wrong day. She said that the mess was entirely caused by the children in a short period of time.
The woman also pointed out that the CVS where the child was selling his teddy bear was just across the road from her house. Because the fact that the boy was desperate for food from close to home is any less bad right?
However, when the Bethels’ court date came around, they both decided to plead guilty to their child endangerment charges. They were then sentenced to six months in jail each.
Even though may think that this sentence was harsh, but this was not the first time that the police had had to intervene on the Bethels’ parenting. It was actually the seventh time that the children had had to be taken from their home in the last 10 years.
Alot of people have praised the efforts of Officer Dunham and his colleagues. The Franklin Police Department’s chief has actually specifically cited Dunham and the fellow officers’ actions as being exemplary.
“They treated him like their own kids. And that’s exactly what law enforcement does in situations like this. It’s how we would want someone to treat our kids.” – Chief Russ Whitman.
We wish everyone was like Officer Dunham, and then there would be no struggling children in America!