UPDATE: 09/16/2016 3:45 p.m.
See original story below.
HEMET – In a move that has left many people shocked, stunned, and even furious, Hemet Police officials and social workers from Child Protective Services determined that no crime was committed during a videotaped incident in which a father appeared to be abusing his son by kneeling onto the boy’s testicles while the boy was reportedly handcuffed to a backyard chair.
The video was filmed and shared on Facebook by a concerned neighbor who claimed the child is regularly abused and often comes to her home seeking refuge and protection from his father.
The short video, which has since been removed from social media, was viewed more than 60,000 times during the 17 hours it was posted on Facebook.
Although the video quality was very poor, during the video a pre-teen boy can be clearly heard screaming in pain and agony for his father to get off his “privates” and begging his father to stop.
However, according to Hemet police officials, after “an intensive investigation by experienced child abuse investigators and Pediatric Physicians, it became clear that a crime had not occurred before, during or after the events depicted on the FB video.”
“While the audio is painfully difficult to listen to, Hemet police investigators interviewed all parties and reviewed extensive, detailed video of the events leading up to, and after, the FB video was shot,” the follow up post from the police department explained. “We sincerely appreciate the community’s concern for the welfare of the child in this case. Please be assured that we share the same concern as well as the legal and moral obligation to ensure it.”
In the follow up post, Hemet police officials explained to citizens, “…we assure you that this case is being handled with the extreme professionalism and care.”
It was not immediately known if the child had been returned to the custody of his parents.
The full update from Hemet Police Department’s Facebook page can be read here:
“We are aware that the video posted on FB this morning that included audio of a child yelling for help was deeply disturbing to anyone who heard it. Hemet police responded to the home and took one individual into custody. Riverside County Child Protective Services also conducted an investigation and took one minor into protective custody. Following an intensive investigation by experienced child abuse investigators and Pediatric Physicians, it became clear that a crime had not occurred before, during or after the events depicted on the FB video. While the audio is painfully difficult to listen to, Hemet police investigators interviewed all parties and reviewed extensive, detailed video of the events leading up to, and after, the FB video was shot. We sincerely appreciate the community’s concern for the welfare of the child in this case. Please be assured that we share the same concern as well as the legal and moral obligation to ensure it. The details of the investigation will remain confidential and are protected by law, but we assure you that this case is being handled with the extreme professionalism and care. No further information will be released at this time.”
ORIGINAL STORY: Swift arrest made after video of suspected child abuse surfaces
HEMET – After video was posted to social media appearing to show the abuse of a young boy, overwhelming public outcry for the protection of the child resulted in an investigation by Hemet Police officers and Child Protective Services Friday, Sept. 16. At the conclusion of an initial investigation the father of the boy was arrested and the child was removed from the home and placed into protective custody.
The short video – which has since been removed from social media – was more than enough to spur officials to take swift and immediate action. The video, which only lasts about 35 seconds and was viewed more than 50,000 times in the first 16 hours after it was posted to Facebook, appeared to show an unidentified adult male kneeling with all his weight onto the young boys testicles as the boy screams in agony, begging the man to stop. According to the original poster of the video, the boy was handcuffed to a backyard chair while the violent incident was happening.
The person who posted the video wrote, “…hes not safe his parents beat him put handcuffs on him and he was handcuffed here the dad was putting his knee in his sons private area and banging his head on the wall.”
After the post and video hit the internet, it caused an immediate social media uproar and was shared more than 750 times; on personal pages, group pages, to several news outlets, to Hemet Police officials and to CPS.
“During the early morning hours, Hemet officers responded to the 200 block of N. Alessandro Street regarding a child abuse investigation,” Hemet Police Department officials wrote in a post on Facebook. “The investigation resulted in an arrest of the suspect and the child being placed in protective custody with Child Protective Services.”
According to the post, “Detectives are conducting an ongoing investigation in coordination with CPS.”
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Hemet Police officials at (951) 765-2400. Callers can remain anonymous.
This is a developing story. Additional information will be updated as it becomes available.