Utah Mother Charged After Beating Son with Broom for Not Doing Chores

A Utah mother was charged with child abuse for beating her son with a broom after the teen refused to do his chores.

Extreme discipline

Photo by: Christopher Sessums

52 year old Irene Pupa of West Valley, Utah was arrested after her 14 year old son was found bleeding from the head with multiple abrasions on his body. Upon investigating the incident, authorities discovered that Pupa had become angry at her son after he blatantly refused to do chores. Pupa took the broom her son was supposed to be cleaning with and hit him over the head with it. She then proceeded to strike her son multiple times on his body as well. The boy was taken to the hospital where it was determined he had bleeding on the brain and a skull fracture.

Felony child abuse

Pupa was booked into the Salt Lake County jail on second degree felony child abuse. Utah Code 76-5-109 states that “Any person who inflicts upon a child serious physical injury, or having the care or custody of such child, causes or permits another to inflict serious physical injury upon a child is guilty of an offense as follows:
(a) If done intentionally or knowingly, the offense is a felony of the second degree;
(b) If done recklessly, the offense is a felony of the third degree; or
(c) If done with criminal negligence, the offense is a class A misdemeanor.”

Anger management

Although Pupa was charged with “intentionally or knowingly” harming her son, she may have not wanted to harm him but did so while in a fit of rage. Like many parents, she could have felt extreme anger with her son’s disrespectful tone and may have been dealing with such behavior for a great length of time. Snapping at kids and inflicting pain on them is not only illegal, but studies have shown it to be less effective than other methods of dealing with parental issues. Parenting teens requires a great deal of patience and keeping a level head during arguments, and those who are unable to do so may benefit greatly from anger management and parenting classes to learn some of these other coping methods for dealing with difficult children. These classes may be taken at the choice of parents and are often court ordered following a family incident. Hopefully Pupa and other parents who struggle with disciplining their teens receive the help they needs to successfully parent their children in a loving and effective manner.

Utah Man Booked on Felony Child Abuse Charges for Throwing Corrosive Substance on Young Children

A Utah man was booked into Cache County jail on felony child abuse charges after he threw a corrosive substance on two young children, resulting in burns to their skin.

Chemical burns

Photo by: Michael Coghlan

32 year old Jason Keith Summers of Smithfield, Utah was arrested after he entered onto a neighbor’s property and threw a substance thought to be sulfuric acid on two young children playing in the yard. Sulfuric acid is a common ingredient in drain cleaner and fertilizer which can not only cause burns and tissue damage but also blindness. Both children suffered chemical burns to their skin, one who had the chemical thrown on his face required additional treatment from a specialized burn center. After trying to flee custody, Summers was finally booked into jail on multiple charges including second degree felony child abuse.

Child Abuse

Utah Code 76-5-112.5 states: “Unless a greater penalty is otherwise provided by law:

(a). . . a person is guilty of a felony of the third degree if the person knowingly or intentionally causes or permits a child or vulnerable adult to be exposed to, inhale, ingest, or have contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia;

(b) . . . a person is guilty of a felony of the second degree, if:

(i) the person engages in the conduct described [above]; and

(ii) as a result of the conduct . . . , a child or vulnerable adult suffers bodily injury, substantial bodily injury, or serious bodily injury”.

History of drugs and violence

Perhaps in defense of his actions, Summers alerted police that he had used drugs the day of the chemical attack and law enforcement agreed Summers appeared under the influence of something. Court records further indicate Summers has a lengthy history of aggressive behavior while under the influence of illicit substances. While drug use may cause individuals to behave in ways they normally wouldn’t, they are still ultimately held responsible for their actions. Hopefully a treatment plan to overcome addiction will be included with the punishment handed down to Summers so he can stop the cycle of drug use and criminal actions.

Utah Mother Arrested For Felony Child Abandonment

A Utah mother was arrested for felony child abandonment after authorities found her children to be living in deplorable circumstances.

Unsafe living conditions

39 year old Virginia Mary Martinez, a resident of the Shivwits Indian Reservation in Washington County, Utah was arrested after officers responding to a call about a loud verbal fight found Martinez living in a trashed trailer along with two small children. The young children, ages 2 and 3, were dirty and hungry with visible skin ailments due to the living conditions. The home Martinez and the children were living in was falling apart and crawling with bugs. After an investigation into the conditions at the Martinez home, the Division of Child and Family Services removed the toddlers and Martinez was arrested for child abandonment.

Child abandonment

Utah Code 76-5-109 regarding child abuse states: “Child abandonment’ means that a parent or legal guardian of a child;
• . . . Intentionally fails to make reasonable arrangements for the safety, care, and physical custody of the child; and
• . . . intentionally fails to provide the child with food, shelter, or clothing . . .
A person who commits child abandonment . . . [is] guilty of a felony of the third degree”.

Rehabilitation

Martinez is reported by a family member to have a possible drug problem and had admitted to not being able to obtain food for her children as she had no means of transportation. Now that Martinez has lost her children for an undetermined period and is behind bars, let this be an opportunity for her to obtain treatment for her addictions and hopefully be healthy enough to be reunited with her children later on. For more information on drug treatment options for those who are trying to raise children while fighting addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National helpline at 1-800-662-HELP. For legal counsel contact a criminal defense attorney.