Grandpa charged with forcing kids on hike

Kellie - posted on 09/02/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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"A man accused of forcing his three young grandsons to hike 30 kilometres in 40-degree heat at the Grand Canyon and denying them food and water has been charged with child abuse.

The boys, aged 12, 9 and 8, told investigators that they had been hit, pushed, choked, pinched and squeezed during trips on a popular trail at the canyon's South Rim last month.

On the latest hike at the weekend, temperatures reached 42 degrees Celsius.

A ranger spotted the group with binoculars on the trail and saw Christopher Carlson shoving the oldest boy and whipping him with a rolled-up T-shirt, authorities said.

National Park Service Special Agent Chris Smith testified that Carlson told authorities that the boys were overweight and that he thought the hike would get them into shape.

"He told me that he loved his grandchildren very much, but at the same time there were tough people in the world and his grandchildren needed to be tough as well," Smith said.

Authorities said Carlson, 45, tortured and beat the boys, and instructed them to lie to park rangers about any injuries.

Rangers and passers-by noted the alleged abuse by Carlson, according to court documents.

The boys said Carlson also forced their fingers down their throats, making them vomit.

Rangers fed and hydrated the boys inside an ambulance and they were placed in the care of child protective services.

One boy had symptoms of heat stroke, while the other two exhibited signs of heat exhaustion and dehydration.

Carlson took the children on the latest hike on August 28. A man died the same day on another trail at the Grand Canyon due to heat exposure.

The boy's mother, Tara Danaher, of Indianapolis, sobbed at a court hearing Thursday. She said her children went on trips with their grandfather this summer, including to Central America and Jamaica, where they have family friends.

The highlight of the latest trip that included the Grand Canyon was supposed to be Disneyland, she said.

Danaher, 28, said she talked with her children throughout the summer and that they never expressed any concerns.

"I don't want to say I can't believe it because anything is possible in this world," she said during breaks in the hearing.

"I want to know what the hell happened."

A federal magistrate found probable cause for allegations of child abuse and determined that Carlson was a flight risk and a danger to children.

Carlson remained in custody on Thursday on six counts of child abuse."

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8293579...



Seriously?! WTF is wrong with people?

4 Comments

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Becky - posted on 09/06/2011

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Wow! That is insane! Grandpa or not, this man should never see his grandkids again!

JuLeah - posted on 09/02/2011

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Hummm, well I am glad when the Ranger spotted them he spoke up and took action. How many people saw, wondered, had concern, but did nothing?

We always are so quick to blame just one person, but our world is not that big. Someone had to see, suspect something.

So, yah, I think Gramps needs to never hang out with the kids again - ever. I also think, this might have ended sooner or never started had the rest of us been paying attention.

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