Archive for December, 2010

Tampa woman charged with killing 4-month-old daughter

Posted in News, Parents Behaving Badly, Sad with tags , , , on December 28, 2010 by punauni


TAMPA — Markala Thompson cried for the last time Tuesday.

At only 4 months old, she’d already had three broken ribs that were healing and a broken arm, according to the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner.

On Tuesday, her frustrated mother, Eboni Thompson, placed her hand around Markala’s neck until she stopped crying, Tampa police said. On Friday, authorities charged Thompson with killing the daughter. Not long ago, a judge had decided that Thompson, 31, was unfit to be alone with her daughter.

Still, Thompson went to see her children Tuesday, according to police reports. She has four girls and a boy, who lived with their father, Marcus Harden, in east Tampa. Markala was the youngest.

Sometime during Markala’s short life, the Florida Department of Children and Families became aware of her situation. Thompson was ordered not to have unsupervised visits with the child, said Nick Cox, a DCF spokesman. He couldn’t say Friday why Thompson had her custody rights revoked.

“I don’t believe we were aware of the broken bones,” he said.

But DCF and the court presented Harden and Thompson with a safety plan that said Thompson was not supposed to be alone with the child. In most cases, the parent with custody must sign the plan, Cox said.

That didn’t stop Harden from leaving Thompson alone in the house with Markala for 15 minutes while he went to the store, police said.

Thompson admitted that she got frustrated while Harden was gone and put her hand around Markala’s neck until she stopped crying, police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.

When Markala stopped breathing, Thompson put her in a bassinet and attempted chest compressions but was unable to revive the child, McElroy said.

Harden returned to find Thompson holding Markala. She placed the child back in the bassinet. When her 21-month-old son went to reach for the baby, Harden stopped him and found Markala wasn’t breathing.

Harden panicked and called 911, police said. Markala was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital and pronounced dead sometime after 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Harden was devastated and DCF took his other children into custody, said his brother, Rudolph Harden, 49, of Tampa.

“My brother is a loving man, and he loves his children,” Harden said.

Thompson left before police arrived because she was not supposed to be alone with her children, police said.

Marcus Harden, 38, and Thompson went to a great deal of trouble to conceal her visits, Cox said.

“She knew and the dad knew and they had done it anyway,” Cox added.

Marcus Harden suffers from gout and asthma and has trouble moving around, his brother said. “He works when he can, but his leg gets so swollen,” Rudolph Harden said. “But he is a great father to his children.”

Harden sought child support payments from Thompson in 2006, court records show. That same year, she was charged with trespass or larceny related to utilities. She wasn’t convicted and Harden dropped the child support case the next year.

In police interviews Tuesday and Wednesday, Thompson admitted that she had previously hit the child’s head on a wall and bent her arm back with enough force to break it.

The Medical Examiner Office confirmed the arm injury and three broken ribs.

“It paints a picture that this child endured a lot of abuse in her short life,” McElroy said.

Thompson, of Tampa, was charged with first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated child abuse with great bodily harm.

DCF removed the other children, including a boy who is a toddler and three daughters, ages 4, 6, and 17.

Rudolph Harden said Thompson doesn’t seem like the type of person who could do something like this.

“I just don’t understand,” he said.


Brother says dad accused of shooting kids in Coldspring was ‘a man of his word’

Posted in News, Parents Behaving Badly, Sad on December 28, 2010 by punauni

HOUSTON — A 54-year-old father was behind bars in San Jacinto County Tuesday after investigators say he shot his two children, killing his 10-year-old son.

On Monday, Pedrag Perisic finally went through with a threat he’d been making for some time, his identical twin brother said.

“My brother was a man of his word,” said Nenad Perisic.

Pedrag Perisic is accused of shooting his children, who were at the center of a bitter custody battle with his ex-wife. Nenad Perisic said his brother wanted to reconcile.

The couple met in Canada.

“He told her a couple of months ago, ‘if you don’t get together, you know what I’m going to do the kids, they can go over my dead body to Montreal.’  He didn’t want to let the kids go back to Montreal,” Nenad Perisic said.

According to an attorney representing the children’s mother, 12-year-old Danyela Perisic and 10-year-old Deyan Perisic were reported missing on Oct. 26 after their father failed to return them from a custody visit.

For the last six weeks, the attorney said the mother tried to get her ex-husband to return the children, to no avail.

Meanwhile, Perisic was staying with the children at a friend’s house in Coldspring.

On Monday, law enforcement officers from the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Department, the Texas Attorney General’s Office and other agencies served a custody warrant at the home.  Deputies made their way to the second floor after entering the home, but as they searched, they heard gunshots coming from the back of the house.

Deputies found Danyela and Deyan shot and arrested their father.

Danyela was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where she remained Tuesday in stable condition.

Deyan was rushed to the emergency room in Livingston, where he was pronounced dead.

“My heart is bleeding,” said Nenad Perisic. “It’s a tragic story and I don’t wish that (anybody) experiences that.”

The children moved from Canada last year and lived with their parents and their uncle in La Porte.

“It’s impossible. I just can’t believe he would hurt them in any way,” said neighbor and family friend Jo Vandagriff.

Vandagriff said she used to take care of the children after school.

“He must have totally snapped,” she said.

Pedrag Perisic is charged with interference with child custody and murder and was being held without bond.

The attorney for the children’s mother said she was en route to Houston from Montreal Tuesday afternoon.

School mulls cutting officer

Posted in News with tags , on December 27, 2010 by punauni

The long arm of the law may get a little shorter in the Monadnock Regional School District starting next fall.

The school board is reconsidering the position of the school resource officer at the Monadnock Regional Middle/High School.

Officer Robert J. O’Connor took on the resource officer role in 2009, replacing Officer James Fisher. The combined middle/high school has had a resource officer since the early 2000s.

The position was initially funded by a federal grant, but the school district has been paying the full cost of the position since the federal funds expired.

Salary, benefits and overtime are now paid entirely by the school, board members said at a school board meeting last week. The 2010-2011 budget allocated $78,815 to the position.

The board’s finance committee recently met with Swanzey Police Chief Richard V.C. Busick 4th and attempted to negotiate a lower cost to the school for maintaining the position, finance committee, Chairman James I. Carnie of Richmond reported to the board.

Citing proposed deep cuts to faculty at the middle and high schools and the new expense of full-day kindergarten, board member Patricia Bauries of Swanzey presented a motion to remove the resource officer from the 2010-2011 budget.

The ensuing debate showed board members generally support the role of the officer in the school, but are divided as to whether the expense of the position is justified.

Gilsum board member Edward W. Jacod recalled that he was surprised when he first heard of having a police officer in the schools.

“I had never heard of it before. Maybe in the South Bronx, but not in Cheshire County,” he said

Swanzey board member Eric Stanley said the position is outsourced to another organization — the Swanzey Police Department — and speculated if it should be put out to bid.

The current arrangement, in which the cost of the position varies with overtime and the officer stays on full-time over the summer, is not favorable to the district, he said.

But board member Bruce Barlow of Swanzey warned against voting to eliminate the position entirely because the board is unhappy with the terms.

“The vote to have a resource officer or not should be made on the merits of having a resource officer,” he said.

And board member Michael Morrison of Swanzey said: “If we have a situation that can only be dealt with in seconds, I don’t want the police to be minutes away.”

The board tabled the motion while the finance committee tries to find a way to reduce the cost of maintaining the officer without eliminating the position.

Several board members pointed out that the district does not pay full benefits for teachers, but does for the resource officer.

Dad vowed he was no threat to baby during scary showdown with cops

Posted in News, Parents Behaving Badly, Sad with tags , , on December 27, 2010 by punauni

The mother of an infant hospitalized with a broken arm faulted cops on Sunday for injuring the boy by yanking him from the arms of his crazed father.

Tredon Mann, just 2 months old, was caught in the middle of a scary showdown Friday night between police and his bipolar father, Trevor Mann, 26.

Naked and raving mad, Mann waved a burning Christmas tree branch at police while holding the boy, police said.

Tredon’s arm was broken as cops subdued Mann, the cousin of Romona Moore, whose 2003 rape and murder shocked the nation.

Mann was arrested and shipped off to the psychiatric ward at Bellevue Hospital. His girlfriend, Donna Yangayatty, 24, said Mann told her from Bellevue on Sunday that cops Tasered him and then ripped their child from his arms.

“He said that he told the cops that he wasn’t going to hurt the baby,” she said. “They pulled him out of his arms and broke his arm.”

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne placed the blame for the child’s injuries on Mann, who was followed to his Flatbush, Brooklyn, home by an off-duty cop who saw him run a red light and smash into another vehicle.

“Mann is the one who put the child in jeopardy,” said Browne, the top NYPD spokesman. “The officers saved the youngster. Any injury to the child was Mann’s doing.”

Browne declined to describe how the off-duty cop and backup officers subdued Mann, a train mechanic out of work on disability.

Yangayatty admitted that Mann’s mental condition played a role in the confrontation with police.

“I don’t know what was going on in his head,” she said, adding that she was so scared by his rage that she doesn’t remember what happened.

Mann’s family has previously blamed cops for failing to properly investigate Moore’s disappearance because she was black. The Hunter College student was abducted by two Bloods gang members, imprisoned in a dirty Brooklyn apartment and raped, tortured and murdered.

Moore’s shocking murder, and the recent death of a relative, made Mann’s mental demons worse, said his identical twin, Travis Mann, who said he also is bipolar.

“It’s a big blow to the family,” Travis Mann said of his brother’s meltdown and arrest. “We are trying to pull through, one day at a time.”


Police say man stole cop’s car after traffic stop

Posted in News with tags on December 27, 2010 by punauni

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A Clark County man avoided serious injury when he ran from a sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop and stole the deputy’s patrol car.

KGW-TV reports that the deputy fired one shot at Raymond H. Hall, which allegedly grazed his arm, early Sunday morning.

Hall then allegedly ditched the patrol car one mile away and fled on foot to the home of a couple who gave him a change of clothes.

A 911 caller told dispatchers that a man with one shoe had fled the neighborhood. Police couldn’t find Hall with a helicopter and K-9 search team.

Deputies spotted a cab that they felt was out of place in the neighborhood. The cab was stopped and Hall was found as a passenger inside.