I wrote here and here recently about Maureen Faibish, the fabulous mother who allegedly left her son alone with a pit bull. The son was killed by the pit bull (even though Maureen thoughtfully tried to lock her son in the basement to protect him while she ran errands).
I’m a little late with this, but Maureen Faibish was charged with child endangerment June 25th, 2005. I say bravo to District Attorney Kamala Harris:
District Attorney Kamala Harris said the evidence in the case “compelled” her office to file the felony charges against Maureen Faibish, who admitted that she had left her son, Nicholas, home alone with the family’s two pit bulls, to run errands, even though one had bitten the 12-year-old boy earlier in the day.
Although Harris wouldn’t discuss the evidence that lead to the charges, she said witness interviews as well as physical evidence were involved.
“There was a situation in that household where on the day Nicholas was killed, he was placed in a situation that at least willfully, if not through criminal negligence, was dangerous to his health and lead to his death,” Harris said.
Harris said there was not enough evidence in the death of Nicholas Faibish to justify a manslaughter charge. Nonetheless, the young boy’s death was “completely preventable,” she said.
“It was a very difficult decision,” Harris said. “We are not in the business of vilifying parents, but in this city, we’re not in business of allowing children to be placed in situations where they can be killed.”
Of course, in Maureen Faibish’s view (and her attorney’s view) she did nothing wrong and has pled not guilty:
Faibish’s attorney said Friday that her client is innocent. “She maintains she didn’t do anything wrong, and we stand by that,” Lidia Stiglich said. “In hindsight, everybody makes perfect decisions,” Stiglich said. “Let people not forget, this lady lost her son. “Any time you know what the outcome is, if you could go back you’d make different choices,” Stiglich said. “The question is, is it criminal?’
She didn’t do anything wrong? Wow. Well, I guess that’s a typical defense attorney remark. But I don’t think most people would need hindsight to tell them that pit bulls are dangerous. You don’t leave them alone with children. Especially not when the animal has bitten that child that same day.
“The kid didn’t want to go,” she said. “He wanted to hang out at home. He wanted to play GameBoy, watch TV, rather than run errands with his mom.”
“The kid”? He had a name. Nicholas.
Aren’t YOU the parent, Maureen? And if you were going to leave him at home, why didn’t you tie up the dog?
Nicholas was dead when his mother returned from her errands two hours later. His body was found in a front bedroom.
Being a parent is the most important job on Earth. It comes with a level of responsibility that anyone that doesn’t have kids just can’t understand. And sadly, a lot of people that DO have kids don’t understand it either.
It’s not good enough to say things like “In hindsight, everybody makes perfect decisions.” It’s not good enough to not think ahead when it comes to your child’s safety.
And it’s not good enough to plead “not guilty” when your son is dead because of something that you could have easily prevented.
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