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Utah child's misspelled police report is heartbreaking

Published May 3, 2014 8:49 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

West Valley City police this week filed domestic violence charges against a guy who allegedly held his wife at knifepoint during a meltdown and threatened his 10-year-old in front of two other kids. In the charges, investigators took the unusual step of quoting directly from the 10-year-old's written witness statement, unedited, and the effect is heartbreaking.

"... He put me agencet the wall and sayd if you give me respeck then I will give you respeck. I was crying when he said that to me. I was devisteted and scared ... and my dad rubed a knife agencet my mom's rist."

No matter where you fall on education methods and standards, I think we all can agree that a 10-year-old should not be expected to write "devastated" in a first-person narrative.

During the alleged assault, the mom reportedly threw a fly swatter at the dad, but it hit a framed picture and cracked the glass. The man "took the picture and began banging it, causing glass to fly everywhere," police wrote. The mom locked him out of the house, but then he kicked at the door and damaged the lock, police wrote. He also allegedly made lewd gestures to the children.

—Erin Alberty

Twitter: @erinalberty