Hero Policeman Adopts Kid After Responding To Abuse Call
A policeman in America has adopted a vulnerable boy who he discovered after responding to a call regarding extreme child abuse. Officer Jody Thompson was parking at the Poteau Police Department in Oklahoma (about three hours from state capital, Oklahoma City) when he overheard a dispatch on his comms about a case of physical child abuse. He was off duty but he still responded to the call, having handled many such cases over the years
"I've investigated child abuse cases before," he said.
Jody added: "I thought I'd better go ahead and respond. He did not have a spot on his body that didn't have a bruise or abrasion. It was the worst thing I've ever seen."
Poteau Police Chief Stephen Fruen later explained in detail the dire extent of the case. He is quoted as saying by 5NEWS: "Based on some of the case facts, when we found him he was bound by his hands and feet with rope and had been submerged in a trash can, held in the shower.
"They weren't feeding him. He didn't have much to eat. I think what he did get to eat he got at school. Bruises, he was covered in bruises from head to toe."
Covering John in a blanket, as he learned the boy's name to be, Jody drove him to an Oklahoma Children's Advocacy Centre so detectives and investigators could take photographs, before taking him to and emergency room.
"I sat with him. And when he was admitted into the intensive care unit, I sat all night until the next day," said Jody, saying that he refused to let the child out of his sight. He added that he knew straight off that he wanted to take John into his care.
"When I'd seen him in that house, shivering and his hands tied - just soaking wet and confused - I knew at that moment the only time I would be satisfied and sure that he was safe is if he was with me," Jody said.
The police officer contacted Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) the very next day to become a certified foster parent, and brought John to his home just a couple of days after that.
His act of kindness was no simple thing, as he already had two sons and, just two days later, found out he was going to have a third child. But to complicate matters a little further, seven months on Thompson received a call to inform him that John's mother had given birth to a girl in jail, asking whether he would be interested in fostering her.
Credit: Poteau Police Department
And that's exactly what the Thompson family did. Finally able to formally adopt John in August of last year (his parents, both in prison, relinquished parental rights), Jody and his wife, Jeannie, were unable to do the same for his sister, with the baby's parents for some reason unwilling to do the same for her. Those rights were eventually terminated this February after a long trial and baby Paizley was also formally adopted by the family.
"[John's] the toughest guy I've ever met," Jody said of his adopted son, who had to testify during the trial.
"We went through something bad, but we're not going got let it define who we are. We're not going to let this hold us back. Always have compassion, you never know what you're going to walk into."
Thankfully, John has since excelled at school and enjoyed life with his new family.
Words: Ronan O'Shea
Featured Image Credit: POTEAU POLICE DEPARTMENT; Jody (right) with John (centre)