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Saturday, January 05, 2008


Aftermath of domestic violence: One story in three parts

It was a typical January, Friday night in Fairbanks. My company had around 25 cabs on the road, the big company had about 35, and there were probably another 20-30 cabs on the road from numerous small companies. There were probably 80-90 cabs total on the road last Friday night in Fairbanks, and I got all three of these calls.

All three calls for a taxi were placed by different individuals, so it wasn't an issue of one person calling his habitual cab company each time. The odds of me getting all three calls had to be extremely slim, a-a-a-a-and the last call came in much later than I normally work. Extremely slim indeed. Perhaps I was meant to blog this story. A-a-a-a-a-and there was actually a fourth call related to the incidents that I will preclude for brevity.

The kid in this story is probably 7 or 8 years old, which is the age of my own daughters.

The first call was to a nice hotel. I picked up a drunk lady and her son, and brought them to an older hotel. The lady was dropping her son off with the father and then going to a bar, so she asked me to wait. In this particular older hotel each room has an exterior door (IE. no hallways, each room opens directly to the parking lot). I parked outside their room, they got out of the cab and went in. As soon as the door to the room opened the fight was on. Mother and father were pushing, shoving, slapping, grabbing, yelling, etc.

After a minute or so it was clear that the fight would continue for a while. It was also clear that if I wanted to get paid I had better interrupt the fight.

When I got to the door the kid was crying. Another drunk woman was in the room trying to join the fracas. Not being one to hold my tongue, I not only asked for the money but I started chewing butts for fighting in front of the kid. They stopped fighting to listen to me, then started trying to persuade me that the other was at fault. Then the fight broke out again.

The kid was still crying. I told the parents that myself and the kid were going to wait in the cab. I thought it would be best to get the kid away from the dispute, if I could. I asked the kid who they were visiting at the first hotel. The kid said it was his "Auntie". I asked the kid if anyone was fighting there. He said, "No." I asked if he wanted to go back. He said, "Yes." Since the first hotel was only a couple blocks away I told the parents I was going to take the kid back to the nice hotel. They didn't seem to care. The mother even pre-paid his cab fare, which I did not ask for, nor was I expecting.

I took the kid back to the nice hotel, walked him to "Aunties'" room, told "Auntie" what happened, then called the police to let them know where the kid was, and that he was in a reasonably safe place. "Auntie" was drunk, but gladly took the boy in. The boy was certainly glad to be there.

To skip to the end of the story, both mom and dad ended up in jail, and probably for an extended period of time due to what I later gleaned were parole violations.

My heart went out to the poor kid.

A couple hours later I was called back to the nice hotel to pick up an unrelated party. While I was waiting the desk clerk told me that "Auntie" had just been arrested for being unruly and loud.

I asked what happened to the kid. He said the troopers left him with "Aunties'" older teenage boys, whom the trooper deemed to be sober and responsible.

My heart went out to the poor kid, yet again, for having to watch "Auntie" get stupid and arrested.

A couple hours later I was called back to the older hotel to pick up at the adjacent room.

The lady in the adjacent room was related to the domestic violence couple. She asked to go to the nice hotel. We got there and she asked me to wait. She came out with the boy and another young girl.

Overhearing their conversation, and knowing the events previous, my heart just broke. She was putting the kids on a plane in two hours. "To go home?" They asked.



"Probably to Barrow."

"For how long?"

No response.

"For how long?"

"To live."

"Live with who, Uncle (so and so)?"

"I don't know yet."

Yes, it is a scene that probably happens a thousand time every day. But it is sad when kids are involved. But in the long run it probably is best for the kids.

One stupid drunken fight, and just like that BOOM a child's whole life is set topsy-turvy. One night you're in the big city with your parents, going to a movie and shopping for toys at WalMart and the next morning you don't even know where you are spending your next night. Uprooted from school. Uprooted from home. Parents in jail.

Say a quick prayer for those poor kids.

As you say, poor kid.

And a rough night for you, too.

I applaud you for having the temerity to step in and actually do something. That takes a very strong & brave person. The little boy won't forget it.

This is one of the saddest things I have ever read while blog surfing and it will be a long time before that little boy is out of my prayers.

Thanks for posting. Be safe.

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