Entries in Father (13)


Boy, 4, Who Accidentally Shot Dad 'Doesn't Know That His Father Is Gone'

Hemera/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- A 4-year-old boy who accidentally shot and killed his father still doesn't understand what happened to his dad and is looking for his friend and playmate, the man's mother said.

The accident occurred Friday when Justin Stanfield Thomas, 35, of Phoenix was visiting his former roommate in Prescott Valley, Ariz., with his son, his family said.

Thomas' 4-year-old son, who is currently at home with his mother in Phoenix, still does not understand what happened to his father.

"He doesn't know that his father is gone," the boy's grandmother, Marilyn Andreatta, told ABC News. "He's still waiting to play with him some more."

Thomas took his son with him Friday when he drove from his Phoenix home to pick up his bed from his former roommate in Prescott Valley, his mother.

When they arrived, Thomas' son reportedly found a gun in the home, ABC Phoenix affiliate KNXV-TV reported. The boy accidentally pulled the trigger and shot his father.

Thomas was in critical condition when he was taken to the hospital, where he later died, KNXV-TV reported.

Andreatta, who lives in Tampa, Fla., said her eldest son was a former Green Beret who was stationed in Iraq in 2003 and 2004.

But before he served in the military full time, Thomas did stand-up comedy, Andreatta said.

"He was very gregarious, very outgoing. He had a marvelous sense of humor," she said. "We had a very special relationship. He was my best friend."

Thomas was a father of two. In addition to a 4-year-old boy, he and his girlfriend had a two-month old baby, Andreatta said.

ABC News' calls to the Prescott Valley Police Department were not immediately returned.


Teen Daughters Lift 3,000-Pound Tractor, Save Father's Life

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(LEBANON, Ore.) -- An Oregon man who became pinned by his 3,000-pound tractor has his teenage daughters to thank after they were able to lift the machine off him and quickly summon help.

Jeff Smith, 36, of Lebanon, Ore. was on his 1949 Ferguson tractor on April 1, trying to pull a stump out of his wife’s garden when, while putting it in reverse, his muddy boot slipped off the clutch. With the tractor chained to the stump, the full weight of the tractor fell backwards, right onto his chest. Pinned, Smith immediately called to his teenage daughters for help.

“I was yelling, ‘Oh God, save me.’ There was enough pressure on me, I didn’t know if anyone could hear me. I had just told them to walk the dogs, then I got on the tractor,” Smith told ABC News. “I didn’t know they were outside, or if anyone would hear.”

Luckily for Smith, Haylee, 13, and her older sister Hannah, 16, were outside walking the neighbor’s dogs at the time. They heard their screaming dad, and within 30 seconds they were by his side, and had started trying to dig him out.

“Originally, they tried to dig a little underneath the tractor to free me up, but it wasn’t working. They couldn’t dig enough. I told them they need to try to lift on the front,” he said. “The first time they lifted it, it gave me a brief moment to get a breath in. I couldn’t move yet. They let it down, and it expelled that breath I got. Then they lifted it again and I was able to wiggle.”

Smith said that with the help of his girls, he was able to twist his body away from tractor, getting it off of his torso. But his arm was still pinned. As Haylee hopped on a 4-wheeler to get help from a neighbor, Hannah continued digging underneath her father to relieve pressure.

“It was helping,” Smith said. “I could feel pressure being relieved.”

The neighbor quickly hopped on his tractor and rushed over, and was able to free Smith using his tractor’s shovel.

Sherry Smith, Jeff’s wife, told ABC News that she was in town buying groceries when she received a call from her daughter. Jeff had told her not to tell her mom what had happened. But she did — and at first her mother didn’t believe her, given that it was April Fools’ Day.

“I said, ‘bulls**t. Let me talk to your dad. Let me talk to the paramedics,” she said. “When they said, ‘This is Lebanon Fire Department EMT,’ I went, 'What??’”

Sherry Smith said she rushed to the hospital, and got there before the ambulance.

When the ambulance arrived at their home, the paramedics allowed the shaken girls to ride with their dad to the hospital. Though Haylee, who was a little more flustered, had to ride in the front. Hannah rode with her dad in the back.

“Both of them were amazing, how well they stayed composed during this whole thing,” Smith said. “I don’t know if either of them had a chance to stop and think what could have been.”

Sherry said that her husband, who is already back at his job as a millwright manager, is seeing a neurosurgeon and an orthopedic doctor. In the end, he escaped with a broken wrist, and said he is regaining some feeling in his forearm, thumb, fingertips and chest. But he’s happy to be alive, and thankful for his girls.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s all about recognition for them,” he said. “I wouldn’t be here if they hadn’t been there.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Texas Dad Carves Pentagram in 6-Year-Old Son's Back

ABC News(RICHLAND HILLS, Texas) -- A Texas man called 911 and claimed he had "spilled innocent blood," telling police he had carved a pentagram into the back of his 6-year-old son with a box cutter.

Police in Richland Hills, Texas say Brent Troy Bartel, 39, told them that he had cut up his son because "it's a holy day."

The alleged attack took place on Wednesday, Dec. 12, or 12/12/12, a day to which some have ascribed mystical significance. As for Bartel, though, police said they "don't know exactly what he meant."

Bartel cut an image of the five-pointed star on the boy's back, which Richland Hills police spokesman Nathan Stringer described as being as large as a basketball and "encompassing most of his back."

"This is a bizarre case," Stringer told ABC News.


Bartel then smeared the boy's blood along the front door casing of the family's home, Stringer said.

Police said the boy's mother saw what Bartel was doing and fled to a neighbor's home, where she also called 911.

Officers arriving at the scene reported they found the boy wearing only pajama bottoms and his father standing over him. Bartel was ordered outside and police went to treat the boy.

The father showed "little, just flat emotion," Stringer said, and did not appear under the influence of any drugs.

Cops had been called to the family's home in the past, but only after minor verbal altercations.

The boy was taken to a nearby hospital, police said, and later released.

Bartel was charged Thursday with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second degree felony that can carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, the spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district attorney told ABC News.

He remains in jail and was unavailable for comment. Authorities said they did not know if Bartel had yet obtained legal counsel.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Masked Boy Killed by Dad Had Knife, Police Say

A Fairfield Connecticut father, Jeffrey Guiliano accidentally shot and killed his son, Tyler Guiliano, by mistaking him for a burglar, Sept. 27, 2012. ABC News(NEW FAIRFIELD, Conn.) -- A Connecticut teacher shot a masked and knife-wielding person during a late-night confronation outside his sister's home when she believed she was being robbed. But Jeffrey Giuliano, 44, didn't realize that he had gunned down and killed his teenage son until the boy was identified by authorities.

Police responding to a possible burglary attempt pulled up to a house in New Fairfield at 1 a.m. Thursday to find the local 5th grade teacher, dressed in a T-shirt and shorts, sitting on the lawn outside his sister's home (the two lived next door). Dead in the driveway was his 15-year-old son, Tyler.

Lieutenant J. Paul Vance said that Tyler was found with obvious gunshot wounds and was holding a weapon. Police later specified that the "weapon in possession of the deceased at the time of this incident was determined by troopers to be a knife."

"We received a call reporting possible burglary and shots fired," Vance told ABC News. "He was shot multiple times, but we still don't know the number of times or the location."

Emergency Medical Service responders said that Tyler, who the Fairfield News Times reported was Giuliano's adopted son, was dead when they arrived on the scene.

Jeffrey Giuliano armed himself with a handgun and headed next door after he received a call from his sister, Alexis Scocozza, who suspected a break-in was taking place at her home.

Once he left his house, Giuliano immediately saw a masked person dressed all in black clothing and wearing a ski-mask and holding a "shiny object," according to the police report.

Giuliano, who teaches at the Meeting House Hill School in New Fairfield, told police that the masked stranger came at him with the object still in his hand and in a threatening manner. Giuliano said he believed that the stranger was armed, and during the confrontation that quickly followed discharged his handgun.

Vance told ABC News that the medical examiner would perform an autopsy Friday.

"We're working out the timeline with the evidence and interviewing the witnesses and will figure out the timeline," Vance said. "We're going to examine everything and try to understand exactly how and why this occurred."

No charges have been filed against Giuliano. Calls made to his home by ABC News were not immediately returned.

Superintendent of New Fairfield schools Alicia Roy sent an email out to parents Thursday afternoon regarding the shooting.

"Our district has experienced a tragedy that has affected us deeply," she wrote, according to the News-Times. Roy said that the shooting was not discussed with students because "the facts were not clear."

Classmates of Tyler's took to Twitter to express their shock and grief at losing someone they've known for most of their lives.

"Never going to forget that laugh he had," Nick Cesarski wrote. "Weird to think a kid I knew since kindergarten is gone. He always was a good kid. R.I.P Tyler."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Super Strength: Daughter Rescues Dad Pinned Under Car

Courtesy Lauren Kornacki(RICHMOND, Va.) -- A 22-year-old Virginia woman summoned some superhero strength to lift a BMW off her father, who became pinned under the car while trying to fix a blown tire on it.

Lauren Kornacki, a recent graduate of the University of Mary Washington, said she went outside to ask to borrow the car on Saturday.

"I didn't hear my dad, so I went back inside and asked my mom where he was," Kornacki said.

When she went outside to look again for her father, Alec Kornacki, 52, she found him stuck under the BMW.

"I guess the way he was moving the car with his wrench, the jack slipped and it fell on top of him," Kornacki said. "He was unconscious and his arm was caught over his chest."

Kornacki, who played basketball for three years and works as a pool manager, tried to rescue her father. She may have been running on pure adrenaline.

"I just literally lifted up the car. It was like a table with a short leg. It kind of balanced it back out and shifted enough to free my dad," Kornacki said, adding that she didn't consider the feat to be "Hulk-like."

Once Alec Kornacki was freed from beneath the car, Lauren began doing chest compressions.

"I didn't even get through a full set before he started breathing again," she said.

The elder Kornacki was taken to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, where is being treated for five fractured ribs, a fractured sternum and vertebrae. He has also lost some feeling in his right arm, but is expected to regain full use in a couple of months, Lauren said.

Lauren, who said she is her father's "mini-me," insisted she doesn't consider herself a hero.

"My dad means everything to me," she said. "I'm having a hard time with this attention."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dad of Missing Iowa Cousin Postpones Drugs and Battery Trial

ABC News(EVANSDALE, Iowa) -- The father of 10-year-old Lyric Cook, who disappeared while riding bikes with her cousin in Iowa earlier this month, will not be put on trial for separate drug or domestic abuse charges until August, an Iowa judge said Friday.

Daniel Morrissey, 36, appeared in a Waterloo, Iowa, court Friday in relation to four cases in which he is charged with assaulting his estranged wife and Lyric's mother Misty Morrissey, and possessing, making and dealing methamphetamines.

A judge in Iowa's Black Hawk County agreed to delay the trial, according to the Des Moines Register.

Investigators say Lyric Cook and her cousin Elizabeth Collins left their home to ride their bikes shortly after noon July 13. Their bicycles were later recovered on a trail near Meyers Lake in Evansdale, Iowa. Both of their bicycles were recovered on a trail near the lake about four hours after they were reported missing.

Last week the case was reclassified as an abduction.

Misty Morrissey and her husband Dan, the separated parents of Lyric, had stopped answering investigators' questions on the advice of their attorney late last week, although Misty submitted to a second polygraph test Tuesday.

Earlier this week authorities in Iowa investigating the disappearance of the girls obtained new video of the missing girls from the day they vanished. Although the footage of the two girls lasts only seconds, investigators say they now are analyzing it for any clues that could lead to information about the girls

FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breault said Monday that investigators believe the two girls are alive, although she would not offer any details to explain their confidence.

A $50,000 reward is now being offered for information that would lead to their being found.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Kentucky Father Arrested After Son Left in Hot Car

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(LONDON, Ky.) -- A Kentucky father has been arrested for allegedly leaving his 2-year-old son inside a hot car parked outside his office.

Kenneth Robinson, 31, told police he got distracted on Monday and drove straight to work instead of dropping off the boy at daycare.  The toddler was strapped in the backseat as the temperature hit 100 degrees in the car in London, Ky.  One of Robinson’s co-workers noticed the boy more than two hours later and made a frantic call to police.

“I need an ambulance at Patton-Chestnut and Binder ASAP.  A child was left in the car,” the co-worker said.  “Is he breathing?  Is he breathing?  Yes, he’s breathing.”

Witnesses say the boy was alert in the backseat, but his face was red before being rushed to the hospital.  Robinson told police it was a terrible mistake.

This is not an uncommon story during the hot summer months.  A Massachusetts woman was charged last week with reckless endangerment for leaving her 5-month-old niece in the car for hours.  The baby survived.

Thirty-three children died of hypothermia in the United States last year after being left in a vehicle; six have already died this year.  Half of the children were forgotten in the vehicle by a caregiver.

Robinson’s story didn’t end in tragedy and he pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Wednesday.  He faces a felony charge of wanton endangerment and is due back in court on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dad Not Charged in Alleged Molester's Death

ABC News(SHINER, Texas) -- A Texas rancher who beat his daughter's accused molester to death moments after he discovered the man raping the 5-year-old girl, will not be charged with his homicide, officials said, as they released chilling 911 tapes of the father calling for help as the other man died.

A grand jury Tuesday decided not to indict the 24-year-old father who beat ranch hand Jesus Mora Flores to death with his bare hands, after finding the man abusing his daughter behind a barn.

"I need an ambulance. This guy was raping my daughter and I don't know what to do," the father is heard telling dispatchers in a frantic call to 911.

The attack happened on June 9 at an isolated ranch near Shiner, Texas. A witness saw Flores "forcibly carrying" the girl into a secluded area and ran to find the father, according to court documents. Running towards his daughter's screams, the father found Flores and the girl, both with their underwear removed, according to police reports.

He pulled Flores off the little girl and "inflicted several blows to the man's head and neck area," according to documents.

Authorities who examined the girl and Flores' body confirmed a sexual assault had occurred.

ABC News does not identify the victims of sexual assault, and is not identifying the father in an effort to protect the minor girl's identity.

The father called 911 from a cell phone and did not immediately know his exact whereabouts, making it difficult for emergency personnel to find him.

"Come on! This guy is going to die on me!" the man yelled at the 911 dispatcher. "I don't know what to do."

The father was never arrested, but Flores' death was investigated as a homicide.

"Under the law in the state of Texas deadly force is authorized and justified in order to stop an aggravated sexual assault or sexual assault," District Attorney Heather McMinn told reporters.

"All the evidence provided by the sheriff's department and the Texas Rangers indicated that's what was occurring when the victim's father arrived at the scene," she said.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Daughter, 9, Is Dad’s Designated Driver?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- A father in a Detroit suburb faces charges of child abuse after making his 9-year-old daughter drive him to a service station because he was too drunk to take the wheel, police said.

The outing was caught on tape by the station’s surveillance video, which shows the van pulling up to the station around 3 a.m. on Oct. 8, and the man, identified as 39-year-old Shawn Weimer, walking in with his daughter.

“Nine years old. Nine! Gas, break, listen, we’re leaving, and she’s driving. I’m drunk,” he can be heard saying to a clerk in the store.

Weimer was arrested after police officers in Brownstown Township, southwest of Detroit, were alerted by a 911 call.

“A 7-year-old is driving it and her dad is drunk and he’s in the passenger side,” the caller, who watched the girl get in the driver’s seat at the service station and pull the vehicle onto the road, told a 911 dispatcher.

“Are you sure the child’s driving, sir?” the dispatcher asks the caller.

When police stopped the car a few miles later, they were surprised to see the young girl really sitting behind the wheel, in a booster seat but still able to operate the van’s gas and brakes.

They were even more surprised at the 9-year-old’s reaction.

“She looks at the uniformed police officer, and says ‘What did you stop me for? I was driving good,’” Brownstown Detective Lt. Robert Grant said.

The girl later told detectives that this wasn’t the first time her dad had her serve as his designated driver.

“She explained to me that he did let her drive before,” Grant said. “On this night, she indicated, he was drinking whiskey and, for whatever reason, instead of the little girl being in bed at 3 a.m., he decided to go for a ride after drinking.”

Officers described Weimer as “argumentative” in telling them he was just teaching his daughter to drive.

Weimer and the girl’s mother are separated and she was spending the weekend with him.

He refused a Breathalyzer test and was arrested, Grant said.

Weimer was charged with second- and fourth-degree child abuse, one a felony and the other a misdemeanor, for the Oct. 8 incident.

He was also charged with being a habitual offender from previous convictions for unarmed robbery, felony firearm possession and receiving and concealing stolen property.  He could face 15 years in prison if convicted.

Weimer was also ordered to have no contact with his daughter, now back in the custody of her mother.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Son Honors the Father He Never Knew, a NY Firefighter Who Died on 9/11

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Pat Lyons wasn't the biggest guy on the New York City Fire Department's team. He wasn't the fastest, but he would not accept defeat. His comebacks as quarterback for The Bravest were the stuff of legend.

That supreme confidence also earned him a spot on Brooklyn's squad 252 -- an elite unit trained to rescue other firefighters.

"The best way I can describe Pat would be, when you see his face coming off the rig, he had his game face on, and that toothpick in his mouth," said Artie Sartor, a fellow firefighter and one of Lyons' good friends. "That would sum it up."

He was a huge Miami Dolphins fan. Lyons was also a prudent soul and for him parenthood took years of planning.

"There was this time when we were dating that we went to, like, a local flea market, and we found these tiny Dolphins socks for a baby, and we bought them," his wife Irene said. "It was just a 'ha-ha', you know? And I tucked them away, and I knew exactly what I would do with those one day."

In the spring of 2001 Lyons was giddy when he and his wife learned they would be having a son -- a little quarterback. A few weeks before Irene's due date, Lyons got a call from the firehouse, asking if he would pull some overtime and work on Sept. 11. He agreed.

On that day, it was a mayday call that sent him scrambling into the North Tower at the World Trade Center -- men were trapped on the 50th floor. Irene was at work at a candy company on Long Island when her brother called to describe the scene in lower Manhattan.

"All of a sudden he said, 'Oh, my goodness,' and his voice quivering, and he said, 'The tower just fell,'" she recalled. "So that's how I found out the tower fell, and I don't know if it was because I was pregnant, or in shock, but I dropped the phone and I just went hysterical crying."

Sartor was off that day, but he rushed to lower Manhattan as soon as he heard the news, and resolved to help save his friend from beneath the rubble.

"You know, we, everybody, mindset was like this, nobody showed up here in a dump truck, nobody's leaving here in a dump truck," he said.

But after months of searching, Lyons' body was never found and Irene gave birth to a baby boy on October 7, 2001, whom she named Patrick Mate Lyons. Now almost 10 years old, Patrick, say family members, bears an eerie resemblance to his father, right down to the way he throws a football.

After years of Patrick's visiting his dad's Brooklyn firehouse, his mother wondered how much he understood about the father he never met -- until little Patrick announced he wanted to write a letter to his dad and read it to the more than 2,000 who will attend the fireman's mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral.

On Saturday, Patrick will deliver his letter to a church full of firemen, at the St. Patrick's Cathedral 9/11 Mass for the Fallen:

"Dear Dad,

I just missed meeting you. You died on September 11, 2001, and I was born 26 days later, on October 7th. I want you to know that Mommy is doing a great job of loving me and raising me in a happy home. I am almost 10 years old now, and from all the stories I've heard about you, I feel like I DO know you.

Every September 11th we go to your firehouse, Squad 252, for a Mass. We get to eat lots of donuts, and see the fire truck. I see it every year ... and every year, I think it is so cool.

On your birthday, the Lyons family gets together and we celebrate you. I send a baseball and football balloon up to Heaven to make you happy.

I think it is really cool that you were such a brave firefighter and that you died saving lots of people's lives. I feel so proud of you. As I get older, EVERYONE says I walk like you, run like you, and have your crazy sense of humor too. I play flag football in the same league as you, and in the same position as you, quarterback. In baseball, I pitch, just like you did. I really like it when people compare me to you.

Mommy told me that when you found out you were having a boy you wanted me to be a left-handed pitcher in the Majors. Well, here's the thing ... I BAT lefty, but I PITCH righty. But I DO plan to pitch for the New York Mets someday.

I have a fun life. Mommy got married again, and I have a dad, a brother and a sister. My dad plays sports with me and teaches me how to do things like ride a boogie-board, build a sandcastle, build a double-decker birdhouse, and clean the pool. I really love him.

I know that you are in Heaven and you are always watching over me. I love knowing that you are a hero.

I wish I could have met you.


Your son, Patrick Mate Lyons"

Out of the mouths of babes, we get proof that it is possible to "never forget" -- even as life goes on.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio