Police: Man beat, whipped, starved girlfriend’s young children
Seattle man accused of forcing girlfriend’s son to panhandle
That is Vincent James Pierce. He has graced our pages here for charges of second-degree child assault-domestic violence, and two counts of third-degree child assault-domestic violence in King County Superior Court. He is being held in lieu of $300,000 bail.
According to police, they learned of Vincent on December 4 after he called 911 to report that his girlfriend’s oldest child a 10-year-old boy who has not been identified, was missing. He told police that the boy had gone out to play 90 minutes earlier, but had not returned. He then called police back 6 hours later to report that the boy had come back. Unconvinced the authorities came to the home to see for themselves if the boy had returned, only to find that he had not. The search for the boy continued for another two hours, when at 4:30 PM, the boy finally returned back home to his apartment.
When questioned by police, the boy told them that Pierce had sent him out to the Space Needle in downtown Seattle to panhandle. He says he was out for more than six hours begging for money and had not eaten anything at all that day. He also said he didn’t return sooner because he didn’t gather enough money. Video evidence at the apartment showed Pierce speaking to the boy at 9:30 AM and then leaving him. It was also observed that the boy was only dressed in a pair of seat pants and two long-sleeved shirts on that cold December day while he was out.
Investigators would later learn of severe abuse this young boy endure, along with his 5-year-old sister. Three weeks prior to this incident, the boy had been beaten for stealing food. A Swedish Medical Center found an untreated broken wrist and rib, according to charging documents. They also found what appeared to be cigarette burns on the boys feet. His little sister was also found to have injuries. She is said to have two black eyes, as well as bruises to her forehead and marks on her back from a belt. She was also described as “grossly dehydrated and underweight.”
Speaking with police, the children’s mother said Pierce frequently beat her children. He will hit the children with a belt over 30 times, sometimes lasting over an hour. She also said Pierce would use his hands to slap the children across the face. She also told them that this was common practice and that she had lost track of how many times the children have been beaten by Pierce. She admitted, through tears, that she knew her sons wrist was broken, but didn’t take him to the doctor because Pierce told her not to. Pierce, allegedly, bent the boys fingers back so far that his wrist broke, in front of her, the consequence for being caught taking food. According to charging papers, Pierce also beat the boy with a cord until he bled, and he has scars from it. His little sister also reported repeated abuse at the hands of Pierce. Police also wrote the court saying, Pierce would force the children to sleep outside the tent they were staying in while homeless. He also has been said to have sat on the children.
Also, four days previous to the boy being reported missing, a nurse at the University of Washington Medical Center contacted authorities after examining Pierce’s girlfriend’s children. The girl’s face was bruised and puffy, and the boy had a black eye. Why weren’t the children taken into CPS custody then?
Apparently, the mother of these two children was afraid of Pierce. Every time she tried to intervene with his beatings of her children he would attack her. I’m sorry, I don’t care if he’d attack her. If it were me, I would have intervened the first time, let him attack me, give him back whatever he gave me until he was worn out, and when he was unconscious taken my children and ran for my life. This mother needs some kind of charges pressed against her in my opinion. Maybe if she’s given a second chance she will have learned from all of this, but we’ve seen how that works out all too often too.
This will get your blood boiling even more though. According to a spokeswoman for the area’s CPS, they had received repeated calls of concern for the children because they were homeless. CPS tried to keep tabs on the family because of this, but the spokesperson has said, “Being homeless does not constitute child abuse. If we have concerns about exposure [to the outside temperatures] or not eating ther’s more we can do.” However, CPS did investigate and found no indications of abuse, yet they now say they believe the boy is not enrolled in school. If the five-year-old girl was described by police as “grossly dehydrated and underweight” that took some time for her to get to that point. How could CPS have missed it? She had to have been showing signs of that, but I suppose if you cannot keep track of a homeless family you have a good excuse to them.To me, they don’t have a good excuse. These four were reported to have stayed in Nicklesville, a Seattle homeless camp last year, and lived homeless in other parts of King County as well. You would think that they’d have more frequent follow-ups for a family you get lots of calls about that are homeless. I’m not saying everyone who is homeless is guilty of abuse, but there were signs here that I don’t feel should have been missed. CPS has failed numerous times on this case, as has the children’s mother. Let’s hope that the ball doesn’t get dropped again even though Pierce is now being charged and is still in lock-up.
Good news is no dead kids.