Published On: Sun, Aug 4th, 2013

Child Returned to Father in Eugene Custodial Interference Case

Story last updated on August 5th, 2013 at 1:50 pm.

At approximately 6 p.m. Sunday evening, Eugene Police officers responded to a report of a child custody issue at Monroe Street park in Eugene.

Investigation by EPD officers revealed a 10-year-old boy was in the custody of his mother, Stephanie Johnston, 28, against a court order for the last few years. Officers believe the boy has never attended school and is reported to be illiterate.

The father of the boy, Brian Wolfe, 32, has a court order awarding him full custody, with Johnston not being granted any parenting time. Police made contact with the boy, after which several acquaintances of the boy and his mother began telling the boy to run from police and his father.

After a brief foot chase during which the boy bit one of the officers on the hand, officers took custody of the boy and returned him to Wolfe. The officer whose hand was bit received a very minor injury, according to a press release from EPD.

No charges are being filed at this time, and the case is being referred to Lane County District Attorney’s Office. The involved parties were contacted by Department of Human Services and plan an extensive follow-up of the situation.

Photo: Brad Cosby's Facebook Page

Photo: Taken from video posted on Brad Cosby’s Facebook Page

A citizen, Brad Cosby, shared video of the incident on his Facebook page, during which the boy apparently bites the officer and appears to be subsequently slapped by the officer, which can be watched here. WARNING: The video contains offensive and inappropriate language and may not be suitable for some viewers.

Lane Today contacted Melinda McLaughlin, Public Information Director for Eugene Police Department. McLaughlin did not comment further on the case, other than to reiterate the information provided in the original press release to Lane Today.


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  1. ORSunshine says:

    Heartbreaking situation on so many levels. I feel for the boy, for his father, and for his mother. The paths the adults in this situation chose to take have had very real consequences for this kid, who really is the victim here. It must be very stressful and scary for him to be told that this is his new reality. He has obviously been mislead and manipulated for many years. :(

    As for the EPD officer – it is too bad that he appeared to have slapped the kid. But police officers aren’t perfect and it does seem to have been a defensive, but ill-suited, maneuver under these circumstances.

    The young friend of the boy who was spewing obscenities and screaming at the police seems to need some parental involvement. He sounds like he has been dealt some awful cards and has become street tough/street crazy. Nothing good will come of this and he clearly needs some serious intervention.

  2. Tom Sawyer says:

    More pot for everyone in OrEgOn would help families. It’s medicine.

  3. Jerri says:

    I’ts really sad to watch grown adults acting this way in front of children, I’m sure the officer didn’t think about smacking the kid it was an automatic reaction to being bitten.The supposed adults reaction to it all was way out of line. Harassing the Police when they are just doing their job so much that he has to threaten them with mace ??? and they feel they are doing the right thing ??? Grow up ..

  4. Anonymous says:

    nice job teaching yr kids the dirty words..no wonder ya’ll cant keep custody of yr kids.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly!!! This is no environment for children! I was appalled by what the other child was saying in the video! He learned that from someone! Great influences!

  5. Lovemyducks says:

    The police were doing their job. It’s unfortunate that this child is caught in the middle of a custody battle. However, the court order sounds like it’s in the child’s best interest. Since the mother had the child, he was not attending school and was illiterate. The child clearly bit the officer. It appears the officer had a quick response. May not have been the right one.
    From the looks of this video, this is not a good group of people for children to be around. The other child was yelling obscenities and was talking about “C4!” The woman taping the incident had her own children removed from her custody.
    As to the comments about so many officers responding to this cal. Yes, that is necessary. More officers were dispatched because people were crowding in and the situation could’ve gotten out of control quickly.

    • Avocet says:

      The child is NOT illiterate. When you believe allegations as fact, you end up spreading false information. I have friends who know this child and his mother, and the kid is not only literate, but smarter than most. Homeschooled, yes. Illiterate, no. Don’t make assumptions based on DHS BS.

      • Anonymous says:

        He is illiterate. I am best friends with his step mother. He has been abused sexually, allowed to take drugs, and is severely under weight. It has taken two years for his father to go through the proper channels to get his son back and I only pray the damage done by his mother can be treated with lots and lots of love and therapy.

      • Anonymous says:

        In a trashy environment where no one in his home and community can communicate without dropping the F bomb and his own mother refers to him multiple times as “my f******* kid,” you expect people to believe this “home schooled” kid is literate and “smarter than most?” Now that’s good for a laugh!

      • Vicki says:

        In a trashy environment where no one in his home and community can communicate without dropping the F bomb and his own mother refers to him multiple times as “my f******* kid,” you expect people to believe this “home schooled” kid is literate and “smarter than most?” Now that’s good for a laugh!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I really, really, really wish the cops would just load up all these street thugs/trash and ship them to California. Hell, that’s where most of them are probably from anyway.

  7. Kie says:

    Wish I knew the name of the cop that was in the beginning of the tape, kudos to him, good job maintaining your cool in an awkward, threatening, nearly riot-ensuing chaos that unfolded. I’d have probably spanked that kid out of spontaneous reaction to getting bit, that stuff hurts. You calmly tried to explain her options to her even though masses of unruly people were yelling at you, and even let her hug him and stuff, even though you didn’t really have to do anything more than serving her a copy of her documents. Good job sir, your a good guy & I’m happy to have you on our streets.

  8. anonymouse says:

    i’d like to see a follow up on this in a month or so ,how the boy is doing with his father,the mothers update,the foul mouthed kid also..

  9. Where is the fathers side of the story? We had to go to Reddit to find it, Im sure that it makes sense they he is in hiding from the clearly imbalanced people in this video.

    So I found this on Reddit written by the man who claims to be the father, http://www.reddit.com/r/Eugene/comments/1jsxgs/before_the_video_custody_dispute/

    It sounds like the claims that he is not the father i moot and if he IS not the father then the mother is clearly guilty of federal crimes, child support fraud, welfare fraud. Im sure a few others, I truly hope that the Eugene DCS and DHS continue their investigation into this family. And make sure that everyone is safe on all sides.

  10. This is clearly not the first time this woman has had children taken from her according to this news article from Oregon Live http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2009/03/virginia_bring_those_kids_home.html So the real question to oregon DHS is WHY does she still have any children at all?

  11. Tim says:

    The only mistake they made was not calling for backup and arresting the other people for disorderly conduct. That other little kid needed about 20 backhands to his mouth. That is an example of WHITE TRASH.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Its impossible for us to know all the history and facts with this family, but regardless its a sad situation for that kid….all kids throw fits, when mine were younger i’m sure they bit me a few times, but i never smacked them in the face! Aren’t officers specially trained to subdue and restrain people without hurting them? That kid’s mom is clearly not in her right mind if in fact she has raised him in such a matter. Her, the crazy lady screaming f bombs at a playground, and who/what ever raised that other foul mouthed little boy should be ashamed of themselves though! If your kid is that young, speaking and acting that way, you are doing nothing but setting them up for failure and priming them for a life on the streets, in prison, or both! That kid is only a product of his environment, and while i believe its never ok to put your hands on a child like that, my heart breaks for those kids because their mothers have clearly failed them. When you know better you do better and clearly these boys have never been taught anything better, just listen to all the “adults” in the background, a disgrace to every descent, hardworking parent out there!

    • Tom says:

      The level of your misinformation is astounding. Police officers are human beings first and yes are trained how to subdue and restrain violent subjects. This police officer reacted appropriately with a MINIMUM of force to stop the child from biting him. I think you would prefer the officer attempted to explain to the child why it wasn’t nice to be biting him and to please release his teeth from the officer’s arm. The officer REACTED to the bite, the same as you would to a mosquito. Your child has hopefully been raised with better respect and by age 10 knows better than to be biting a police officer. The officer showed a tremendous amount of restraint, stopping way too many times to placate the mom and explain repeatedly that he was not the judge and that he was simply fulfilling the requirements of his job. The police officers kept the situation from getting out of control, despite the obviously uneducated, foul mouthed, disrespectful children and adults present on the scene. The teenager who was yelling threats against the officers lives should have been arrested, not ignored in my opinion. Kudos to the police for not allowing some obviously out of control lowlife white trash to escalate what should have been a pretty straightforward procedure, fulfilling a court order by a judge. If there is a parent of the foul mouthed teenager who can read this post, I hope you do. You will be visiting your son in a jail or at the cemetery before too long if he continues along the path he’s on.

  13. deez says:

    and the feminist say “parental alienation” does not exist… they say that these kids in custody battles are not brainwashed…. for some reason our government believes these women… I like how “MOM” tries to convince the police that the childs father is some kind of sexual preditor… how many fathers and dads have been destroyed by allegations such as this? I hope this kid has a better life with his father and gets some real help!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Everyone around was acting so ridiculously outrageous that it created a worse situation out of something that should have been handled by the family and the officers. Let’s be clear that most of the bystanders didn’t see what happened with the child, yet jumped at the opportunity to heckle, argue and interfere with the men doing their job. The lack if civility shown by the angry crowd is far more shameful than anything the officer did. The kid was okay, it was a simple bop on the forehead, the same, or even less than what you might do if he was reaching for something hot that might burn him. The kid WASN’T hurt!

  15. Francis says:

    Police did a professional job in the face of an ignorant crowd behaving stupidly

  16. Puppeteer says:

    Still not acceptable to smack the kid, and last I checked cops work for the people and uphold ,he constitution. The people HAVE THE RIGHT TO QUESTION THE POLICE AND THEIR ACTIONS.

  17. Anonymous says:

    That kid was crying Wolf. Get it?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Mom looks like a real scumbag.

  19. Steve says:

    The boy appears to be biting the officer and the officer responded with minimal force to make the boy stop. the boy was obviously not injured in any way.

    Puppeteer, why don’t you explain how you would make someone stop biting you?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Tailer trash; Ignorant, foul mouthed, unaccountable to society people who are not responsible. Their words of contempt toward the police reveal just how trashy and unaccountable they actually are.

  21. K9ndn says:

    Is this the life of joe dirt? The police showed extremely awesome restraint with all the threats as well as possible arrest for interfering and disorderly conduct. This is why I will never visit Oregon due to the enbread fuglies living there now.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Not everyone there is like that. If you are going to judge an entire state on a few idiots at least spell
    Your judgement correctly. It’s “inbred”.
    Moron

  23. Anonymous says:

    *judgment (If you’re going to criticize his spelling, you have to use proper spelling when you do so).

  24. Anonymous says:

    This child is the future of law enforcement.

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