One of my favorite things to say to my kids is, “Get on your PJ pants girls – time to head to Wal-Mart!” They promptly roll their eyes and my older daughter tells me how lame I am with her facial expressions. I’m a big fan of all Wal-Mart jokes, but what happened at the Wal-Mart in Lawrence, KS was absolutely no laughing matter.
On June 13th, a passerby noticed a small boy sitting outside an SUV in the Wal-Mart parking lot, with his hands and feet bound and a blindfold covering his eyes. This Good Samaritan promptly called the police and upon their response, they also found a 7-year-old girl also tied up and blindfolded outside the vehicle, while three other children, ages 12, 13 and 15, were inside the vehicle but not restrained. Seems that they had been squatting in that Wal-Mart parking lot, along with their parents, for a day and half because their vehicle broke down on their way from Chicago to Arizona.
Adolfo Gomez Jr., 52, and his wife, Deborah Gomez, 43, both of Northlake, Ill were arrested and charged with two counts of child abuse and five counts of child endangerment. Adolfo Gomez also was charged with one count of obstruction for resisting officers, who used a stun gun to subdue him when he tried to climb into the SUV as they approached.
Now, good ‘ole Deborah told a judge this past Thursday in her court appearance that she was unaware of how the children were being treated and was trying to get out of her relationship with her husband. You were unaware that your children were tied up and blindfolded? I’m calling Bravo Sierra, Deborah. Were you also unaware of it back in 1998 when your 2 boys, aged 2 and 3, were left home alone and a case was opened against you and your man with the Department of Children and Family Services? Or the other case that was opened against you in December 2011? I doubt that too.
“She was every much a victim as the children. She did everything she could,” her lawyer told the judge. Her story is that she was in the Wal-Mart and left the children in their father’s care while she was in there. So you mean to tell me that he tied up a 5 year-old and 7-year old while you were looking for bargains? Exactly how long were you in there? And that tying up the kids was a BRAND new form of punishment? Again, bullshit. I ain’t buying it. If your spouse is mistreating your kids – that shit doesn’t happen randomly out of the blue one day in a Wal-Mart parking lot during a road trip and he just decides to tie up the kids while you’re not looking. I just can’t get on-board with her excuse.
A little more background on these two…. after an interview with the Gomez family’s neighbors in Northlake, they claimed that they were on their way to Arizona to find work – permanently. They left behind tons of personal belongings in the house that they were renting, including a van and tons of personal items in the overgrown back yard. Their former landlord mentioned that Adolfo was definitely the disciplinarian and could often be heard yelling at the children and the children crying. Deborah was the only one that worked, and only during the summer for a construction company. They lived off of money they got from grants and numerous charities. Shit, where do I sign up for the free stuff? Stupid me, I bust my ass at work all day for my kids.
The children are in protective custody and the parents are both being held on a $50,000 bond. Deborah’s lawyer is trying to get her bond reduced to $15k so that she can get out to get her kids back. Meanwhile, Adolfo is being evaluated by a mental health professional after requesting to represent himself.
Silver lining? No dead kids. Let’s hope these kids are well taken care of for the foreseeable future and IF it’s true that Deborah is also a victim, that she cleans her shit up and takes care of her 5 children and keeps them very far away from Adolfo.
Thanks to Melissa and B-Girl for the tips.