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Maureen Faibish Charged With Child Endangerment

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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.

And:

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.

Edited: bhw

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About Michael Davis

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Matt Paprocki

    Glad to see a follow up, thanks. I wrote about the incident as well and I haven’t heard anything since. This isn’t enough though. Should be manslaughter.

  • http://gonzo-marx.blogspot.com gonzo marx

    leave it to a Martian to notice that he “mother” locked the child in the basement..NOT the dog…

    silly me, but it would seem locking the dog, who, not having thumbs, more than likely cannot escape the basement…woudl be a bit more effective than doing the same with a 12 year old boy

    now, i don’t fall into the “pit bulls are dangerous” category…the animal itself is not the danger, but how it was raised/trained…obviously, if the animal was biting the children, then there are some issues

    seems to be a simple case of a “mother” needed to have her “human” license revoked for not enough active cells in cranium

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “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.”

    Nice paragraph, I agree totally… :)

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “leave it to a Martian to notice that he “mother” locked the child in the basement..NOT the dog…”

    Sad, isn’t it? :-/

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    The mother is from Mars

  • http://www.townofautumn.com Martian Anthropologist

    Hey now — that’s an insult to us Martians…! 😉

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    I love the name “Martian Anthropologist” by the way. Pretty witty… :)

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    Bitch needs to go to jail.

  • Mandoogamoose

    The mother actually said this!!!
    “It (was) Nicky’s time to go,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle. “When you’re born, you’re destined to go, and this was his time.” [CNN-AP, 6-12-05]
    What a winner-

  • Pyrola

    Sad,Pit Bulls Are like many dogs ,they will bite, but pitbulls will not let go. Therefore they are a danger that no parent should have this dogs in the home. Maureen Faibish, the fabulous mother, should get 12 years.No one should these dogs without special Training.

  • Jeff

    Whoever says that pit bulls should not be in a home with children is just as informed as the media sensationalizing the fact taht there was a pit bull attack. Pits were the #1 dog of choice throughoout most of the 20th century. Then, in the 70’s, the Rottweiler became the boggeyman of canines. In the 80’s it was the Doberman. Now, it is the Pit-Bull.

    So sad to hear people put down this wonderful breed of dog. These are the same people that let their poodles run unleashed, only to run up to my leashed pitbull, and start barking at him. Very precarious situation there……..

  • Sally Mohan

    I am so tired of reading the same thing about this poor grieving mother. This needs to stop. I have almost lost faith in our society. These responses comprise of unintelligent individuals who are incapable of thinking for themselves and believe everything written in the paper to be true. Every article/blog I have read has been in response to one poorly written article. It is outrageous. This mother was clearly grieving. I saw the news the night this article was printed and she mentioned the basement was a recreation room. I have 3 boys, ages 15, 11, and 7 and I would say that 99% of their time is spent in our family room which is located in our basement.

    The shovel on the door comment could probably also be explained. Perhaps the door did not shut probably and this was the only means to keep it closed. The problem is we do not know all the facts. Wouldn’t it be nice if we heard all the facts before we condemn this poor woman.

    Now the part that concerns me and most of us is that allegedly he was told to stay down there. Perhaps she simply did not want her son near the dogs when one of them was in heat. Since most 12 year boys would prefer to play videos in a family room it would make sense for her to simply say stay here and I will be back in a while. She obviously did not make a big deal about it as Nicholas did not have any fear about leaving the room.

    I believe this woman had a false sense of security about this breed. It appears that she like many pit bull owners simply couldn’t imagine their sweet loving animal would ever cause any harm to anyone.

  • http:// bob downes

    hi very bad taste the lady lost her son do you
    have any morals we all make mistakes how about your-self do you think she did it on purpose
    bob-downes

  • ferris

    Jeff said “run up to my leashed pitbull, and start barking at him. Very precarious situation there……..”

    He obviously knows that PitBulls are dangerous animals, including his own…They should be illegal to own or breed. They are naturally vicious dogs bred to fight just like a lab was bred to retrieve or a border collie was bred to herd. They have no place around people.

  • Sarah Clark

    As a law student, I had the opportunity to watch the testimony of one of the officiers who responded to the scene. I feel fooled by the media. Faibish’s comments regarding the shovel on the door was completely taken out of context. The officer testified that the door was broken in that there was no doorknob and the shovel was used to close the door. Therefore, Nick was not locked in the basement as mentioned in the article. Wow!! Pretty bad journalism. He should have asked why a shovel on the door was necessary instead of assuming the worst. This was a HUGE part of why she was convicted. Kamala Harris’ office should have done a better job investigating this very important fact. Pretty bad. In light of this new information, I find it very sad that her name was dragged through the mud for a mistake in one article.

  • John Youngston

    Interesting perspective from someone who knows the truth rather than the media who wants to sell papers.

    Beck Jury Foreperson, August 8th, 2006 12:46 pm

    1. Beck August 8th, 2006 12:46 pm
    “Nicky received two bites that morning. While the one on his arm could not be identified due to the horrible damage later caused by the dogs, the medical examiner was able to identify the bite on his torso. That bite was deemed mild – something that would not have been very apparent when it happened and had barely broken the skin. I think that, for a lot of people, this would be enough to make sure Nicky was not left alone with the dogs. But I don’t think that most people would conclude from this that their family dogs, who had never shown aggression to any people or animals prior to Ella going into heat a few days before, would do such a horrendous thing. The defense even submitted that Ella had been through a heat before without incident, so the simple fact that she was in heat probably wouldn’t have been cause for alarm either.”
    “A child left alone with the family dogs who had bitten him mildly that morning is not probably going to die.”
    “I did not know much about the case prior to the trial (probably one of the reasons I was selected for the jury), and I made sure that I only received information about what happened from the trial itself and the evidence submitted. Since the trial ended, I have been reading news accounts of what happened; there is a good deal of misinformation or misleading information out there. The media has been slanted in its presentation of the situation, whether intentionally or not, and has presented facts of the case in a manner differently from what we were told and shown in court. But regardless of what the media has said, it ultimately came down to whether or not Mrs. Faibish was guilty of the crime for which she was accused. The only measure of that was the charges filed, and, as I explained above, many of us could not in good conscience find her guilty based on the evidence presented to us.”
    “This was a difficult case for everyone involved. The things that Nicky must have experienced were horrific; there are images that I saw and testimony that I heard in the trial that I cannot get out of my head weeks after seeing and hearing them.”

    Comments:

    1. Tim August 8th, 2006 1:29 pm
    “It’s easy to stand at a distance and be morally outraged by this sort of case. On first blush, it seems so black and white. Why is it that when someone tells us that we may not have the full picture, so many of us stubbornly cling to our original perception? Because moral outrage feels good, that’s why. “This person is a vile monster. Punish them. Let them rot.” We want these things to be uncomplicated and for our righteous indignation to be, well, righteous. Well, you have that kind of luxury being an idle spectator. I’ve just got to shake my head in wonder at folks who read a pretty thoughtful and sensitive explanation of the jury’s position by the jury foreperson (I’m assuming Beck is the genuine article) and then still have it in them to assert that they know the facts better.”

    Paul August 8th, 2006 11:36 am
    In all fairness, we on the internet only have the information that the news media provides for us. I’m sure the news is only giving us the most shocking and emotionally charged facts… it’s what keeps people tuned in. What REALLY happened is mostly unknown to us.

    Remember, the media are businesses out to make money. That is their objective. Do not believe they are there to give us an accurate and/or unbiased account of events that happen in our world.

    The jurors are undoubtedly aware of many more facts in the case than any of us.

    Beck sounds like a reasonable person whose credibility is not in question. His explanation sounds reasonable to me.