Woman Arrested for Sunburned Kids

  1. All I can say is "wow."....

    Mom charged in children's bad sunburns freed from jail
    Thursday, August 22, 2002
    By Cindi Lash and Nate Guidry, Post-Gazette Staff Writers

    STEUBENVILLE, Ohio -- A woman charged with leaving her young children in the sun so long that they suffered second-degree burns has been released from jail after authorities agreed to reduce the felony endangerment charges pending against her.

    Eve Hibbits, 31, of Brilliant, had been charged with three felony counts of child endangerment, but now faces one misdemeanor count of child endangerment. A pretrial hearing has not been scheduled.

    In a case that has drawn international attention, Hibbits was arrested Aug. 14 , one day after a deputy noticed her pushing a stroller that held her 2-year-old daughter and 10-month-old twin sons at the Jefferson County Fair in Smithfield.

    Police said the children's faces were so sunburned that they looked as if they had been painted "beet red."

    Hibbits was placed in the Jefferson County Jail in Steubenville because she couldn't post the $15,000 bail.

    She was released yesterday after an arraignment and preliminary hearing in which Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Felmet and defense attorney Shawn Blake reached an agreement for the charges to be reduced to one misdemeanor count of child endangerment.

    County Court Judge David Scarpone then reduced the bond, arraigned her and allowed her to be released on her own recognizance. She entered a plea of not guilty.

    Hibbits could not be reached at her home for comment.

    Blake yesterday downplayed the seriousness of the burns to the children.

    "The children were released from the hospital in the custody of their mother," he said. "I don't think the hospital would have allowed her to have custody if those burns were serious."

    Jefferson County Sheriff Fred J. Abdalla said his office does not want Hibbits to be punished further.

    "Our intention was never to throw this woman in jail for 15 years. Our intention was to take care of these children and that's been accomplished," he said. "She had to be given a wake-up call and told, 'You just can't do this to children.' She spent eight days in jail and Children's Services is involved and will continue to monitor her parenting skills. As far as I'm concerned, that's enough."

    Since Hibbits was arrested, Abdalla said his office has been besieged by calls from news agencies from all over the world. Yesterday, he was interviewed by reporters from Dublin, London and cities all over the United States.

    He's also gotten calls from many people who just wanted to express their opinions on his actions. Some of those callers were critical, but he said he did what he believed at the time was the right thing to do and doesn't care about public opinion.

    "This has some people furious with me all over the country," he said.

    Abdalla said his department waited to arrest and charge Hibbits until after receiving a report from a doctor who treated her children at Trinity West Hospital.
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   Q.
    I don't quite know what to think of this news.

    My first reaction was to sort of blow it off, like we are overreacting again, arrresting parents....but then I thought, No! Parents need to take responsibility (imagine that!) for their actions and their kids!

    Seeing as it's your God-given right to screw and pop out kids, parents should AT LEAST be held accountable.

    Once I read the sheriff's comments, about how CPS is involved and will monitor her parenting skills, I started to agree with him.

    I find it so strange that to adopt a child, requires more screening and harsher requirements than to be a biological parent. I'm not saying I have the answers, but what I'm saying is it's pretty pathetic that some people ARE parents. They don't view the job as important, they simply view it as a byproduct of having sex....and that's just horrible.

    Even if this woman who was arrested was otherwise a good parent, I think it's good that she was made an example of.
  4. by   Rustyhammer
    I agree.
    My first thought was "These cops don't know HOW to mind their own business."
    Then I thought "What is wrong with this woman to not protect her kids to the point they have 2nd degree sunburn?"
    I'm no lover of cops but stupid parents tick me off too.
    -Russell
  5. by   Robin61970
    Agree Rusty.......I am not saying my children have never gotten sunburned, but I do have the sense to go and buy sunscreen if I forgot it......
  6. by   delirium
    I agree.

    Not to mention that these poor kids are now at high risk for developing melanoma later in their lives, having suffered such severe sunburns.

    How can a person be so unconcerned about the welfare of her own children? It boggles the mind. I shouldn't be shocked, I see this kind of the thing in the ER where I work nearly every day. And you're absolutely right, Susy, children are the result of having sex, not a planned event or even an unplanned act of God to be cherished and protected.

    It makes me sick. So many people in this world would love to have a child, and some of the ones that do act like azzholes.
  7. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Originally posted by Susy K
    I find it so strange that to adopt a child, requires more screening and harsher requirements than to be a biological parent.
    I couldn't agree more!

    I was at first skeptical because I thought "where's the mother's side of the story?" But then I thought, what could it possibly that would make me OK with it? I can't think of anything.

    Heather
  8. by   Rustyhammer
    I can vouch for the adoption screening process....but thats a whole other thread!
    -Russell
  9. by   Zee_RN
    A little more info I received from a woman on another site:

    "I saw the story on the news the other day and they described her as 'slow.' Said she nor the father even knew what sun-block was. She also had an 11 yr. old that was left wandering the fairgrounds until 10 the night they arrested her because she failed to tell them she had another child. "


    Soooo sad...
  10. by   Rustyhammer
    someone should fill them in on what birth control is.
    -Russell
  11. by   night owl
    ...And soon!!!
  12. by   nakitamoon
    Can vouch for the adoption screening process as well!!! geesh,,,,

    This is my pet peeve,,, I'm afraid if I start,,,, someone will have to unplug the 'puter,,,,

    I will try to think straight and say this in as few words as possible,,

    Okay,,,,, OMG,,,, never thought I would put it this way but,,,, I believe it's past time for regulating,,,,population control,,,,

    These children did not asked to be born,,, In todays world,,, should of never been concieved,,,, Thier whole life is tainted before they arrive,,, a battle,,, to be fought from birth,,,, till death,,

    Sadly,, the things they need cannot be bought,,, It is not an issue of wealth,,, To be nourished,,, hugged,,,, loved,,, supported,,,,

    I read the news,,,, leave my house and see such horrible things happening to children,,, by those who should fight to the death to protect those children,,, It breaks my heart,,,

    I will give home to any child that cross' my path,,, my hubby and I will love and nourish them,,,, some leaving to go back to thier old life,,, some moving forward,,, but when I think I am unable to concieve a child,, and every minute,,, one is being born to a person who doesnt' care/ or have a clue,,,, well there are days,, I just have a hard time accepting it,,, Nik~~~~
  13. by   JailRN
    I saw that Mom on TV and she DID look a little 'different', but CNN said the kids had 1st degree burns. (Guess it's a good thing this didn't happen when I ws little. WIth my Irish freckles, and the sunburns I got every summer, my parents would never have gotten outta jail.)

    Poor kids. Wonder what their mental capacity is??

    Yeah, Rusty, dittos on the adoption thing-you need a license to drive a car, but almost anyone can pop out a baby-seems like the easier it is to have kids, the less that person should. (oh and I'm sure I'll hear about that!!!)
  14. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by Zee_RN
    A little more info I received from a woman on another site:

    "I saw the story on the news the other day and they described her as 'slow.' Said she nor the father even knew what sun-block was. She also had an 11 yr. old that was left wandering the fairgrounds until 10 the night they arrested her because she failed to tell them she had another child. "


    Soooo sad...
    This happend in my great state of Ohio.. I saw the Mom on TV with her lawyer, all I can say is UGH.. she is probably going to try to make some money off of this.. sad for the kids. Wonder what the father is like, shouldn't he be responsible too or maybe he wasn't at the Fairgrounds?

    mkue:stone

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