Entries in Son (15)


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.


Finger in Chili Hoax Lady Accused of Making Up Another Story

ABC News(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A San Jose woman who spent four years in prison for the notorious “finger in the chili” hoax is being accused of making up another story.

Anna Ayala, 47, allegedly concocted a cover story for her son after he accidentally shot himself in the ankle. Ayala’s son, Guadalupe Reyes, 26, is a convicted felon and is not allowed to own firearms.

Reyes and his mother gave authorities detailed descriptions of two men who they said shot him, including their names.

The story was so believable, authorities identified and interrogated a potential suspect, ABC News station KGO-TV in San Francisco reported.

“They gave pretty specific information to the point we actually thought we had a suspect,” Sgt. Jason Dwyer told KGO. “We interviewed this person, we conducted various forensic testing as far as gunshot residue goes, so we treated it like the real deal.”

Reyes then recanted the story, while Ayala stuck by it, prompting their arrests.

The mother and son duo appeared in court on Friday for a preliminary hearing.

Both face a misdemeanor charge of filing a false police report.

Reyes faces an additional charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, while Ayala is also being charged with being an accessory to a felony.

They are scheduled to be arraigned on March 1.

In 2005, Ayala generated national attention — as well as plenty of bad publicity for Wendy’s — when she said that she had bit into a severed fingertip found in a bowl of Wendy’s chili. Authorities suspected a hoax early in the investigation, partly because the finger wasn’t cooked. Forensic tests later showed that Ayala had never chomped on the finger, and investigators determined Ayala’s story was a fraud.

Further investigation found that the severed finger belonged to a co-worker of Ayala’s husband who had lost the tip in a workplace accident. According to court documents, her husband bought the fingertip for $100.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Indiana National Guardsman Gunned Down Protecting Young Son

LaQuana Norwood(CHICAGO) -- When 2-year-old Antoine Cook wants to talk to his father, Indiana National Guardsman Sgt. Willie Cook, Antoine grabs a cell phone.

"He'll pick it up and say, 'Hey Dada what are you doing? I love you,'" says Cook's fiancée LaQuana Norwood.

But no one is on the other line. Cook, at the age of 25, was shot and killed earlier this month in East Chicago as he shielded Antoine from gunfire, likely saving the young boy's life.

Cook, who had only recently come home from a year-long tour of duty in Afghanistan, was in his car on his way to visit his grandmother on Feb. 2 when a gunman opened fire on him and little Antoine. As bullets suddenly rained down on the car, Cook threw himself on top of the boy.

"When I got to his grandma's house they had rushed Antoine to the hospital already. He was in the emergency room," recalled Cook's fiancée Laquana Norwood in a phone interview with ABC News. "I didn't know where Will was. I saw his car outside. The police had everything taped off. After that I just rushed straight to the hospital and that's when I found out that Antoine had been shot in the left leg and a bullet had grazed his right leg and the right side of his head. They had found Will on top of Antoine."

It was Cook's heroism that likely enabled his son to survive despite a total of 15 shots fired in their direction.

"From my understanding when they started shooting, Will started taking off his seatbelt," Norwood said. "Antoine was sitting behind him. Will got grazed in the neck by a bullet and then when he turned around he got grazed again in the side. By the time he had completely turned around to shield Antoine that was when they hit Will in the back of the head. He was DOA."

Norwood, who said she and Cook were hoping to get married in June, noted that Cook's top priority was taking care of his family, including Antoine's older siblings, a 5-year-old sister and 6-year-old brother.

"I know he loved his kids and I figured that he probably felt like if you know, both he and Antoine couldn't make it, that at least he would make sure that Antoine would still be here with me," Norwood said.

Cook had been serving with the 713th Engineer Company, a unit that lost six of its members in Afghanistan. He returned home in late September. The incident that killed Cook, according to Norwood, was due to "mistaken identity." The assailants, she said, were seeking revenge for a shooting that had occurred earlier in the week.

The East Chicago Police Department did not respond to messages left by ABC News Friday.

Two weeks after the incident, Antoine is doing "a lot better" and is expected to make a full recovery, according to Norwood, but he is not walking yet.

"He won't be walking for a while," she said. "It will take at least six weeks just for the wound to heal. He's going to start physical therapy, but until his leg completely heals, he won't be walking. He has a lot of bullet fragments in his leg, but the doctors said they didn't go that deep in his skin so the older he gets they'll just start falling out or the doctors can take them out."

While the physical damage of the attack is evident, the psychological ramifications are harder to address.

"It's very hard to try to explain to the kids that their daddy is gone forever, especially at such a young age. Antoine, for him to see his dad taken away like that… he can't explain it, the only way he can express it is by the way he acts," Norwood said. "He's gotten very aggressive since then. He's acting out after what happened."

Whether it is the toy cell phone or photos of Cook around the house, Norwood said it is evident that Antoine misses his father.

"He always looks at his pictures," she said.

Norwood, along with Cook's brother, have started a trust fund in Cook's name. In a video on the fund's website, a tearful Norwood notes that Cook was "our hero until the end." To date they have raised nearly $4,000, one fifth of the way towards their goal of $20,000.

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


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


Wis. Mother and Son Killed in Different Auto Accidents

Thinkstock/Getty Images(WEST ALLIS, Wis.) -- Two unrelated car accidents claimed the lives of a mother and her son early Sunday morning in West Allis, Wis.

Mary Moore, 45, was struck by a car, while lying in the street at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday morning. According to a report by the medical examiner, a witness behind the car that struck Moore initially thought the first car had gone over a speed bump.   But when the witness got closer, they realized that a woman was lying in the roadway. Moore was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, authorities said. The driver who struck her was arrested a few hours later, according to police. The driver had left the scene.

Approximately four hours after Moore was struck, her son, Thomas Olson, 22, was killed as he was being driven to the hospital. Olson was riding as a passenger in his girlfriend’s SUV, when the driver lost control of the vehicle, hit three parked cars and flipped over, according to a report by the medical examiner.  Olsen was ejected from the vehicle and later succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. His fellow passengers suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Police say alcohol may have been a factor in both of the fatal crashes. The person driving Olson to the hospital was arrested for a DUI after the accident.

West Allis Police Department Deputy Chief Charles Padgett told ABC News that although Moore had been drinking, it was unclear how much alcohol she had consumed. The driver who allegedly struck her was also seen at a local tavern prior to the accident, but Padgett said police are not pursuing alcohol-related charges in that case at this time, he said.

The two fatal accidents happened within just two miles of each other under circumstances Padgett called “unusual and rare.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Son of Packers Coach Called Pal Before Falling in River

Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(OSHKOSH, Wis.) -- The son of Green Bay Packers coach Joe Philbin made a "non-distress" phone call to a friend shortly before he was heard shouting for help as he apparently tumbled into the icy Fox River, officials said Tuesday.

Investigators do not suspect foul play in the death of Michael Philbin, but are trying to determine whether alcohol was a factor.

Police said they will not know the cause of death until autopsy and toxicology results are returned in about four weeks.

Michael Philbin, 21, was reported missing Sunday around 8 p.m. after not returning to the residence in Oshkosh, Wis., where he was staying, police said.  Philbin was visiting friends at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and made a phone call around 2:10 a.m. Sunday morning from the area around the river.  Police said the phone call was a "non-distress" call and are asking anyone that was with Philbin at the time to come forward with information.

A security guard at a nearby business called the police department around 2:30 a.m. Sunday after hearing someone shout for help and seeing someone near the river, police said.  Police, fire and dive team patrols searched the area, but did not find anyone on Sunday.

A fresh search was conducted on Monday and the body was found around 3:15 p.m., according to police officer Joseph Nichols.

Nichols said temperatures had been unseasonably warm in the Oshkosh area -- 50 miles from Green Bay -- and that there was only a little bit of ice around the edge of the river.

Police are trying to determine whether Philbin was drinking the night of his death and are trying to put together a timeline of his last hours alive, according to new information released on Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 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


Sarah Palin's Eldest Son Gets Married

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(HATCHER PASS, Alaska) -- Sarah Palin has something to celebrate – her eldest son, Track Palin, 22, just married his high school sweetheart, Britta Hanson, 21.
"Our families couldn't be happier!" the Palins and the Hansons told People magazine in a joint statement released Thursday. "These are two hard working, humble, active, studious young adults who grew up together. We're tickled that after two decades of friendship we proudly witnessed their marriage, knowing their new life together will be blessed."
The two wed in a small ceremony in Hatcher Pass, Alaska, according to the statement. The couple will have a larger wedding celebration this winter at Alaska's Alyeska Ski Resort .

Track Palin is an Army Reservist who spent a year in Iraq. According to People, he plans to study at the University of Alaska after the commercial fishing season. Hanson is a nursing student at the University of Alaska.

Track is the first of the Palin children to get married. Bristol Palin got engaged to Levi Johnston, the father of her two-year-old son, last July, but called off the wedding less than a month later.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio