West Seattle Crime Watch: Man jailed for attack on 8-year-old son

October 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 24 Comments

While WSB contributing reporter Megan Sheppard was going through police reports for the (forthcoming) weekly “from the police files” roundup, she happened onto a report that led us to this disturbing case involving a West Seattle 8-year-old hospitalized after being beaten and jumped on. The suspect: His father, now in jail, charged with assault, bail set at $250,000. The attack happened in Renton but we can’t find evidence it’s been reported anywhere else. Details ahead:

44-year-old Otis Ray Jones is in the King County Jail right now, in lieu of a quarter-million dollars bail. He is charged with second-degree assault on a child (domestic violence).

According to court documents, police first got word of what happened when the 8-year-old victim’s mother, with whom he lives in West Seattle, called for help last Wednesday night. The boy told police he had gotten into trouble at his school (which is in West Seattle) and been sent to the principal’s office. His father picked him up and took him to his residence in Renton, making it clear along the way that he was upset with his son. After arrival, the boy told police:

His father took the two belts and started hitting him on the left side of his face. He then grabbed the iron and folded the cord in half so that it formed a loop. ‘He started hitting me with the cord on my arms, chest, back and legs. He hit me about fifteen times. He threw me to the ground and started jumping on my chest with both feet. He threw me across the room and walked out. He came back and started punching me in the ribs, neck, head and arm. My ‘breathing shut off.’ ‘My dad is like 300 lbs., and I couldn’t start my breathing with him on my chest.’ My stomach hurt the worst and it felt like all of the blood from my stomach had been pushed up.

The boy’s mother told police she didn’t realize what had happened when Jones dropped her son off, telling him, “Even though I had to spank you, I love you and want you to do good in school.” She soon noticed her son was “walking slow and breathing funny” and after going to his room to lie down, “called out in pain.” After she saw his wounds, she called 911 and Seattle Fire responded; the boy was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where doctors determined that along with external injuries, he was “suffering from a laceration to his liver,” according to the court document, which says Child Protective Services is investigating.

The court document says Jones called police the next afternoon, crying, saying he loved his son and didn’t mean to hurt him, and wanted to turn himself in to get help. The documents don’t say what happened after that, but the jail register shows Jones was not booked until yesterday afternoon; the charging papers say he has two prior drug-related convictions. His son’s condition isn’t known, but he was described as being still in the hospital when charges were filed last Friday.

24 Comments

  1. Well, I expect to see the protection order cross my desk (at work) with in the next week.

    What a jerk! Kids are meant to be nourished and loved not beat up! I hope the father gets whats coming to him in jail!!!!

    Comment by Celeste17 — 7:13 pm October 19, 2010 #

  2. Hmmm. Well I agree that the dad in this case is a jerk (at best). But I don’t know why the protection order would cross your desk. If you are somehow responsible for making decisions about peoples’ fates I hope you can amend your thinking not to include thinly veiled wishes for further violence.

    Just saying…

    Comment by 35this35mph — 8:14 pm October 19, 2010 #

  3. WSB, what’s your aim with this story?

    Celeste17, really? Why would you talk about your work in this manner? Whatever your job connection, it’s not appropriate to comment in this manner.

    Comment by RG — 8:40 pm October 19, 2010 #

  4. Celeste17: What is it you hope the father gets in jail, and how does that relate to your work, exactly? If your work brings you into contact with either victims of domestic violence or perpetrators, I’m amazed that you would even comment publicly on a specific case, much less express your desire that the father receive some kind of “special” treatment while in custody. That would really help with the cycle of abuse and violence, wouldn’t it?

    Comment by waterworld — 9:09 pm October 19, 2010 #

  5. I’m not sure why a terrible instance of child abuse that happened in Renton (even if the victim was a resident of West Seattle) was reported on the blog.

    Comment by Jeanette — 9:38 pm October 19, 2010 #

  6. Why is a case of an 8-year-old child being brutally beaten not considered to be news?

    Comment by WSB — 9:45 pm October 19, 2010 #

  7. What is wrong with you people? Would you rather keep domestic violence behind closed doors? Thank god someone is bringing these disturbing crimes and parenting failures to light. The father has an obligation to PROTECT his child, and absolutely he should be called out for the criminal he is.

    Comment by visitor — 10:28 pm October 19, 2010 #

  8. I agree with Celeste and hope he gets what is coming to him.

    Comment by Wild one — 11:32 pm October 19, 2010 #

  9. I am the mother of a 7 3/4 year old.

    All I can think of is that child.

    I hope the father gets help, whatever that means. I don’t know what that means – I’m not an expert. I do know that likely, the child loves his father, despite it all, and I wish that the father would become a great guy. I don’t know how that works.

    But the kid…..that kid could be someone we know. That child could be someone next to us on teh playground. That child is a child, deserving of the world, and my heart breaks to hear this. My thoughts, prayers, and heart go out to this child and his (undeniably) heartbroken mother.

    Should I hear it? YES. It is news about a West Seattle family. And it raises the issue of domestic violence, and real awareness.

    It breaks my heart, but yes, I think it is newsworthy. Kudos to WSB, again.

    Comment by Kristina — 2:10 pm October 20, 2010 #

  10. The problem I have with stories like this (not here, specifically, WSB, so no offense – I mean just in general) is that not only is it depressing when these horrific crimes occur, but I feel helpless to do anything about it. What can anyone do – for the child, or for the mother, or for the parent that did this? Besides throwing money at obscure charities, you know? Because we hear about stuff like this every single day, maybe multiple times a day, because apparently there are vast numbers of individuals out there who are batsh*t crazy, if not outright evil. The only silver lining to hearing about this stuff is that then we can feel better about ourselves because we’re not as awful as the people who commit violent, disgusting crimes. It is not as though such human problems are even remotely new. But violent crimes prompt questions like: What is WRONG with people? and WHY does this happen? and more to the point HOW can we prevent it from happening again? Well, how CAN we prevent it? And once something like this happens, how can we help the victims heal, and hopefully encourage change in the perpetrators, so they don’t repeat the behavior? How can we make our communities safer? Because if this is just how life IS, and there’s NOTHING we can do, ignorance is bliss.

    Comment by sarelly — 2:55 pm October 20, 2010 #

  11. We could start by funding social services adequately, sarelly. I don’t know Celeste17 or what she does, but I do know people in the field, and sadly every single one of them has a crushing workload.

    Comment by datamuse — 3:30 pm October 20, 2010 #

  12. Awareness is the first step. Keeping these crimes behind closed doors = tacit approval of the perpetrator’s behaviour. How long were some priests’ molestation of young children kept quiet by the Catholic Church? How long was domestic violence in families hush hush? Bringing these devastating crimes to light gives hope to victims and lets them know they are not alone. It also broadcasts the fact in the public realm that these crimes are not acceptable in a civil society. The growth of social service agencies addressing these problems is exactly proportional to the growth of awareness, and that can only happen in the press, online, in blogs, etc. It doesn’t make for good reading on a personal level, but socially, these are exactly the type of stories that need to be aired.

    Comment by visitor — 4:12 pm October 20, 2010 #

  13. My problem with the article is that it gives way too much detail about the family involved.

    Comment by RG — 4:38 pm October 20, 2010 #

  14. RG, I left a lot of details out, though they are all publicly accessible information in court documents (which I did not access with any special journalistic privileges – these are documents that for a few cents a page, anyone can get) – the mother’s name, the school name, where they live, who was present when it happened, among other things. All that was redacted in the document was the child’s name, which I wouldn’t have included either, though initials were visible, and I didn’t use those either.
    .
    What I included, in my view as a 30-year veteran journalist and editor, is the bare minimum of what needed to be in the story. I respect your right to disagree, and to disagree whether this should be reported at all. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:44 pm October 20, 2010 #

  15. With regard to funding of social services – presumably this means services for low-income people – ? Rich people can afford their own therapy, and they also abuse their children. Most abusers don’t think they need to change – that’s what makes them abusers. Aside from that, do people truly not know that these things happen every minute of every day in every human community everywhere on the planet, and have been happening since the first human beings walked the planet? How can anyone not know? I agree that of course there should be funding for social services. But then what?

    Comment by sarelly — 4:55 pm October 20, 2010 #

  16. When I read this is made me so sad. Working at an elementary school in WS I was so afraid I would recognize the name as one of our students. I immediately thought of a few kids that could have been the young boy in this report. Thank-you WSB for keeping us informed and perhaps this opens the eyes of the community that there are kids out there who are products or poor parenting which in turn causes the child’s behavior problems at school.

    Comment by Genessee neighbor — 6:32 pm October 20, 2010 #

  17. Sarelly,

    You asked some really good and basic questions. Besides carefully researching any charity we donate to, to make certain how their donations are utilized, there are organizations that we can volunteer with.

    .

    There are religious based charities, such as the Union Gospel Mission, which have a family outreach.

    .

    There is Child Haven, which offers daycare for abused children, and has several places throughout the Seattle area.

    .

    There are Big Brother and Big Sister volunteering opportunities.

    .

    I’m sure there are many others in the Seattle community. I don’t know how much help this gives to changing the life and parenting skills of abusive parents, but it does give places for “respite” for the abused child. Hopefully, giving them a view at non-abusive adults close-up will give them a different perspective on how to treat any children they may someday have themselves.

    Comment by EileneHutchinson — 10:37 pm October 20, 2010 #

  18. This sort of thing can’t happen in perfect W. Seattle. We recycle and have PCC bags and Vote Green… Holy Smokes!

    he was “suffering from a laceration to his liver,”

    Comment by Tom Moore — 6:17 pm October 21, 2010 #

  19. Good questions, sarelly. I don’t know the answer wrt the income level of those who use these services. But one of their purposes is to investigate and rectify reported cases of abuse. I think if there were more of them, investigations would be more frequent and more thorough.

    Comment by datamuse — 8:08 pm October 21, 2010 #

  20. >>do people truly not know that these things happen every minute of every day in every human community everywhere on the planet, and have been happening since the first human beings walked the planet?

    Yes, believe it or not, many people have (or had) no idea about abuse, especially if was not not part of their life experience, and especially if they are older than 50, when it was a topic still hidden away in the closet. So if you find abuse to be so well known, good! It means that awareness is working.

    Comment by visitor — 9:08 pm October 21, 2010 #

  21. I pray for that family that they can fine help. perhaps some parenten classes . I am a single mom with one child. I went to 2 stations of these classes meet lots of good people and great ideas.
    I came from an abusive home and making sure to brake the cycle , it works .
    I know that little boy loves his father and his mother . I pray for them

    Comment by LR — 11:34 am October 22, 2010 #

  22. Mom could use a 9mm restraining order.

    Comment by Tom Jones — 10:11 am October 28, 2010 #

  23. I don’t understand. Why did they wait for the guy to turn him self in?

    I hope he recovers completely and doesn’t have permanent injuries that will plague him later on.

    Comment by cj — 7:38 pm November 6, 2010 #

  24. I am in disbelief. This heart wrenching story has me sick and sad and afraid for my own Grandchildren, who will be returning to W Seattle soon; however the perp is The Mother, who is unstable and dangerous. I have to make choices soon about sending them home. i should have rights to keep them, from their Mother. My son is very busy a great Father, but, may not be home and she could trick a sitter or someone into seeing her kids, then, we may never have a chance to see them again.

    Comment by Emarna — 7:36 am November 12, 2010 #

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