On March 1, 2015, I fled to the sanctuary of my parents after my husband attacked me at home. I had a toddler and I was nine months pregnant with my second son at the time.
Three days later, investigators from the Hunt County CPS department asked me to meet them at 8:30pm for an interview and welfare check of my toddler son. I agreed.
The CPS investigators along with county and city police banged on my parents' door that sounded like what I imagine the Gestapo were like. I opened it to see three large men, dressed all in black, on the porch steps. Without identifying himself or for whom he worked, the man in front said, "We are here to remove your son." I replied, "Nobody is touching my child without a court order!"
He said he had a warrant "right here" and showed me a closed folder. I demanded to see the warrant but he refused and said, "That's not going to happen."
He shoved the door open when I tried closing the door. The men moved me backward several steps into the kitchen. My toddler son was standing behind me, terrified, all three men had entered the kitchen by that point. The first man yelled, "There's the kid, somebody grab him!"
I began screaming and tried to protect my son from what I thought was a kidnapping. I demanded, repeatedly, to see proof of a warrant. The first man grabbed me, spun me around and then the other officers shoved me into the corner and forcefully pinned me there, slamming my knees, legs, thighs into the lower cabinets, slamming my abdomen into the kitchen counter and even pinning my head down onto the counter initially. I was handcuffed at that point and then CPS investigators proceeded to enter the private residence without anyone's permission as well. My parents quickly came to see what the commotion was and my mother grabbed my son to remove him from the middle of the physical aggression.
The police and investigators didn't know they were being filmed by my parents' anti-burglary system. Near the end of the clip the officer who is standing aside can be heard to say, "Somebody shut her up." At the end of the clip, you can see one of the police officers hit me in my back repeatedly with a closed fist.
I was familiar with one of the investigators, Michelle Hughes. The other, who is seen turning around and watching my assault while remaining silent and offering no intervention is Jay Borton. Michelle was well aware of my condition and the advanced stage of my pregnancy. At 38+ weeks pregnant, my huge belly made it obvious. When I noticed Michelle, I began screaming out for her to intervene or at least to verify/remind the men that I was pregnant. Again, she remained silent, did not intervene in any way and in fact, turned her head aside when I called out to her. These CPS investigators who are supposed to protect children let two huge police crush my pregnant abdomen.
Ultimately, I was taken to the Hunt County Jail and my son was taken by CPS and forced to sleep in their office for several days. My son was taken from me and from the arms and the safety of his grandparents' home, despite their protests, willingness, ability and repeated requests to retain physical custody of him. The paperwork and forms that CPS left behind were all marked "REFUSED NONCOMPLIANT" on the parent signature line, even though I obviously never even saw any of the forms, much less refused to sign them.
I was jailed for 6 days, charged with felony "Assaulting a Police Officer", "Resisting Arrest" and "Interference with Child Custody" while my family scrambled and borrowed to pay the bail bond. I am a decorated Veteran of the Iraq war; I have ZERO criminal history, no alcohol, drug or any other problems. I had never been arrested before this night.
I was strip searched, denied underwear or socks despite the weather being freezing cold in the middle of a late winter storm and kept in a holding cell the entire time. The holding cells do not have beds (inmates sleep on pads on the concrete floor) and the fluorescent lights are left on 24 hours/day. Officers do checks on the holding cells every 15-30 minutes. Each time I encountered any medical personnel, I explained that I had been assaulted during my arrest and I asked to have my injuries documented (either on paper or with photographs). Each time (at least four different encounters) I was denied with only the feeble explanation that I "could contact Internal Affairs if I wanted to pursue that kind of thing." The jail medical staff worried more about being sued than about me and my unborn child being cared for. Despite repeated requests, I was never provided with a prenatal exam, prenatal vitamins, or my regular medications.
On the third day, CPS Investigator Borton came to the jail to meet with me. I was taken to an interview room where Borton placed his business card on the desk between us and stated "I'm Jay Borton, I currently have custody of your son. I'd like to ask you a few questions." I demanded an attorney. Upon hearing that he snatched the business card back up off the desk, slammed his folio shut and stood. He began to walk out of the room but instead he stopped in the doorway and continued to try to interrogate me, concluding with "well, let me ask you this...do you want your court subpoena sent to your home address or your parents' address?"
I replied, "I'd like to speak to an attorney, please sir."
Borton began to sneer at me "....you're a fool, you must WANT the State to take your kids" and then he finally left the room.
Once I was released on bond, I made an urgent appointment with my OB/GYN and finally had my injuries examined & documented and had the status of the baby evaluated. Although the baby didn't appear to be in any obvious distress, any physical injuries that he may have suffered would have to be examined after his birth and might appear later in life.
The baby was born on March 15 of the same year. CPS Investigator Michelle Hughes entered my private hospital room 3 days after his birth and removed the newborn from my custody with no other allegations or justification aside from the fact that there was an open case against me.
I was tried before a judge (no jury) and after the prosecution presented their case, the judge dismissed all the charges. My attorney didn't need to present our case. The judge also reprimanded the police for being so poorly trained. They arrested me for interfering with the explicit terms of a warrant that they refused to show me! They hurt me and my family. They kidnapped my sons. I did everything right by fleeing my abusing husband and these government officials did everything wrong by blaming me, arresting me, and attacking my family.
Now there is a civil suit on my behalf pending against the County, the Sheriff - who libeled me in press conferences, in subsequent press releases, and even personally on social media, claiming that I was the bad person and his officers and department behaved correctly. He's just trying to save his own reputation for his deputies being untrained and out of control. I am also suing the CPS investigators, medical personnel in the jail, and the officers involved. I am seeking funds to help with this case as costs such as depositions can get expensive.
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