Well This is Pretty - Home Alone, the Reality Show

So these proud parents are so full of joy at the turning of one year to another that they have to leave town to celebrate. There’s just one problem–they have brand new puupies. Problem solved! They got a pet sitter. So it’s off to Oakland for a weekend of carfree, joyous good fun. Woo Hoo!

Did I mention that they have an autistic 5 year old son. Hmmm. Looks like a problem. Problem solved! We’ll just get his nine year old brother to look after him!

What the fuck. I mean really what the fuck. Is this what is meant by the banality of evil or am I being melodramatic?

The kids are OK. I mean, they were not physically harmed by their abandonment. Parents, in jail in lieu of $200,000 bond, not so good.

You know, it would have been heinous enough to leave a 5- and 8-year-old alone in any circumstances, but the fact that the 5-year-old is autistic and they left the 8-year-old to take care of him… it just boggles the mind. I hope they actually do jail time.

“I thought they loved them more than us,” Joshua told The Associated Press during an interview at his maternal grandmother’s apartment. The children’s mother died in 2003.

This broke my heart.

Did you look at the “Related Stories” links?

Couple of turning teen into sex slave
Man charged with poisioning his 3 children
Couple faces charges in baby’s alchohol death
Police: Parents gave baby lethal vodka dose
Couple acused of making children sleep in chages say they are willing to change to get custody

Especially since the answer is, “They did, baby. They did.”

I really don’t have the words for such asswipes.
The man’s cell phone was called on Saturday, but he didn’t respond until Tuesday WITH 2 kids at home, alone?!?

And it looks like Grandma wasn’t all that far away (don’t know my California geography that well).

Nice step-mom, there, boys. Christ, she gives all steps a bad name.

I don’t understand–was the dog sitter supposed to walk the boys and make sure they had food and water as well?


Nope, it looks like from the article they cared enough about the puppies to bring them to a sitter, the woman’s mother. I don’t know if that mother is the same woman as the grandmother who called the cops, suspecting that the kids had been left home alone, but it seems likely.

Real nice, eh? The puppies get to stay with grandma, but you two kids have to stay home and fend for yourselves. The kid was definitely right to think they loved the puppies more.

Ah, I missed that.
And to add to the insult–the ads below are all for dog training…(gratuitious comment, not really related to the article)

Granted the parents are asshats, but either that is the worst written article I’ve read in a long time, or my mind is turning into cottage cheese

So they live in Manteca, right?

Left the children at home in San Ramon? What happended to Manteca? :smack: If the family lives in San Ramon, then why was the dateline Manteca?
FTR San Ramon is a rather upscale comunity in the East Bay. Manteca is a farm town in the central valley. Not at all close together, maybe 2 hours apart by car.

My ability to have joyous good fun in Oakland is exceeded by very few people, but I’ll point out that the couple went off to spend New Year’s in Las Vegas. [Whether or not they rented a vehicle while in Vegas, or were indeed “carfree”, is not mentioned in the article. :p]

Oakland International just happens to be the closest major airport to their home in San Ramon. It’s also where they were arrested when they returned to California from Las Vegas.

Rick, the father, stepmother and two kids (+ dogs) indeed live in San Ramon, about 35 miles east of San Francisco by car (25 as the crow flies). It’s the children’s maternal grandmother Libby Holden (i.e. the late mother’s mother) who lives in Manteca, which is about 50 miles east of San Ramon. he children are now staying with her, and ISTM quite likely that this will be a long-term solution since she’s seeking custody.

The puppies were with the stepmother’s mother, not the children’s grandmother.

The latest San Francisco Chronicle report is here.

No, that’s just where the story was filed from. It’s usually in the vicinity of the story’s principle location, but doesn’t have to be. It can be misleading, though.

And why is there a town in California named “lard”?

You beat me to it! I was wondering the same thing!

Oh–and the “parents” of these two kids are complete asswipes who shouldn’t be given the care of a pet rock, much less any living, breathing creature.

I love this bit from that SF Chronicle article linked by Antonius Block:

I don’t believe this for a minute.

But even if it’s true, the couple still made absolutely no effort whatsoever to come straight back home, but instead stayed for the full five days. Surely if they really gave a shit, they would have turned straight around and come home the moment they realized that their young children were home alone. And they would also have called a friend or the police to look in on the children in the meantime.

Well, here I disagree. A 9yo is - GENERALLY- old enough to be a “latchkey kid”, and depending on the circumstances- MAY be mature enough to watch his 5yo brother for that period. (“Latchkey kid” means a child who comes home from school around 3ish, and minds himself until the parents get home after work, say 6ish). So- MAYBE- if these “parents” has “just” left the boys alone “for a couple of hours”- then MAYBE I’d think about giving them a pass. But *these * circumstances are unforgiveable.

His 5 year old autistic brother? It seems to me that someone in charge of such a child should at the very least know first aid, and be able to drive and have access to a car. A lot can go wrong in 3 hours.

I was a latchkey kid at about 7-8 years old, but we lived in a remarkably safe neighborhood.

<aside rant>

Heavens, though, it irks me that kids can’t play outside all day long without their folks worrying like they did when I was young. I would leave the house on Saturday at eleven when all the kids’ shows were over and I’d be back around dusk. Kids can’t even play outside without a parent watching them anymore. Stupid world.

</aside rant>

That being said… if they took the puppies to be looked after, assuredly they figured the kid couldn’t handle taking care of the puppies by himself. Why the HELL, therefore, did they think he was capable of taking care of a human being?

According to Wikipedia, it’s due to a typo. It’s not pronounced like proper Spanish anyway, it’s “Man-TEE-ca”.

I had a severly retarted brother who was two years younger than me. I certainly looked after for a couple hours at least once when I was eight, there may have been other times. It was hard to find babysitters for a dissabled child of any sort, and my mom was in the hospital for complications relating to the birth of my youngest sister. My aunt was flying in to help take care of the situation, and dad had to go to the airport. I think he must have decided there was no way to fit 4 kids in the car as well as the aunt and luggage, so he left me to take care of my brother for a couple hours. I was usualy responsible for him when we had a babysitter anyway.

His balance wasn’t good. I don’t know how long they were gone, when he slipped and fell against the gate put up to keep him from going down the stairs. He got a gash on his head, and like those wounds do it blead and blead and blead. I didn’t know what to do and figured that since I didn’t like hot water, that must be what I needed to pu/gt on the wound. Fortunately it must not have been that deep because it stopped eventually and we were ok.

It was a little incident that could have been so much worse, and with the best meaning in the world on the part of the parent, should flat out never have happened. An autistic child is able to get into so much more trouble, and needs so much more supervison than my brother did, and 5 days!!!

I can not think of a punishment that is appropriate. Mostly I think that it the parents are no longer worth our time. The children need a home that provides what children should have. Love, and safety.

Well, look at all the caveats in my statement- no less than two "MAYBE"s. It just depends, and as you can see by my statement I wasn’t talking aboit this case nessesarily but about kids in general. This 10yo (he’s 10, not nine, according to the San Jose Mercury news) seems rather mature and his brother’s autism seems one of the milder sorts. But I can’t say I’d be wildly happy about the idea of leaving them alone even for a few hours, either. When the Police & CPS were interviewed here about this, one of them even mentioned that something along the lines of they wouldn’t have been too concerned if it had just been for a few hours. Certainly criminal charges would be unlikely.

But anyway- just overnite would be completely and totally irresponsible, and 5 days passeth understanding.