For every case of a CPS case worker leaving a starving kid with abusive parents, there's a case of the state overreacting.
Star-Telegram Watchdog columnist Dave Lieber was arrested Tuesday on probable-cause warrants for child abandonment, a Watauga police spokeswoman said.
Lieber, 51, surrendered at the Tarrant County Jail on Tuesday morning, authorities said.
He was released on $4,000 bail.
His arrest stems from an Aug. 13 incident in which Lieber left his 11-year-old son at a Watauga McDonald’s restaurant after the two argued, said Detective Tiffany Ward, a Watauga police spokeswoman.
He was arrested on two warrants, one for child abandonment with intent to return and the other for child abandonment/endangering a child, she said. Both are felonies.
For the record, I don't know Lieber and have never met him. I worked at the Star-Telegram many moons ago, but Lieber isn't someone with whom I was acquainted. Which makes me fully qualified to wonder, WTH?!
Here is Lieber's account of events:
We went out to breakfast the other morning at a restaurant. As soon as he had finished eating, he demanded that we leave. But I wasn’t done. I asked him to please be patient. He refused. I told him, not asked him, to wait. Same response from him. This went on and on and on.
I sent him to another table. I tried to ignore him. But my buttons were pushed. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I stormed out of the restaurant and told him to walk the few blocks home.
I got in the car and drove off.
I was gone for several minutes, long enough to calm down. I doubled back to the restaurant to pick him up. By then, two police cars and a small crowd were gathered outside.
A caring patron had called the police.
My son had given his statement. He explained what he had done. The officer asked if any blows were exchanged. None were.
The police officer gave me a stern lecture about being a responsible parent. He said that it doesn’t take more than a few minutes for something to happen to an unsupervised child. He said, "As a journalist, you know this."
My son apologized to me, and I apologized to him. The officer asked if we were OK to go home. Properly chastened, we were.
I'll admit that the guy blew his top and acted rashly. But we're not talking about abandoning a baby in a field. At 11, I could wander through the neighborhood (including a busy street with lots of shops) without anyone thinking anything about it. Well, except for the dinosaurs that might come eat me.
But seriously. Is this a case where a felony is warranted?