Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dad charged with child abuse for suspending daughter over bridge railing (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Is dad HANS JANSMA a single and/or custodial father? Can't help but wonder, since as far as I have seen, there is NO MENTION OF A MOTHER in any of the news accounts.

Seems like Mom would have played a role in this happy-little-family-at-home ruse for the media IF she was around.

Frankly, I'm wary of the "repeated" kissing and hugging between the little girl and her father. It's a little icky, and frequently seen with custodial dads with boundary issues. It's especially common for this to be played up for naive reporters who don't "get" this kind of stuff. It also tends to go with trauma bonding--which is what happens when you're just four years of age, and Daddy puts you on a bridge pillar over a raging river at flood stage.

So what happened to Mom?


Dad charged after girl on bridge pillar Girl, 4, was near swollen Grand River during flood

Updated: Tuesday, 30 Apr 2013, 9:01 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 29 Apr 2013, 5:22 PM EDT

By Dani Carlson

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A man caught on camera allowing his 4-year-old daughter to stand on the outside of the railing on a bridge just inches from a swollen Grand River has now been charged with child abuse.

Hans Jansma was charged with fourth-degree child abuse, a one-year misdemeanor, for what happened on the pedestrian Blue Bridge in downtown Grand Rapids. Jansma turned himself in on the charge and was released from jail.

Jansma put his daughter "at unreasonable risk of harm or physical injury by allowing said child to stand on a bridge pillar over a flooded river," according to court documents.

Jansma spoke to 24 Hour News 8 a day after the April 22 incident. He said his young girl was never in any danger.

"I'm not going to put my daughter in any harm," Jansma said at the time. "That's crazy."

The 24 Hour News 8 photojournalist who captured the incident saw Jansma and another adult standing on the Blue Bridge above the child. Jansma was holding the other end of the rope wrapped around the girl's waist. Jansma referred to that rope last week as a "safety rope." He described it as a 3/8-inch piece of rope that he says could easily hold his daughter's 35 pounds -- or even, he claimed, his own weight.

"It was a rope," he described Monday. "It wasn't twine. It wasn't fishing line. It was a rope."

When 24 Hour News 8 was at his home last week, the girl appeared to be happy and affectionate toward her father, kissing and hugging him repeatedly.

Jansma also never took his eyes off the girl as she played in front of his home. Jansma is scheduled to be in court to face the charge in early May.

Jansma previously pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors -- none of which were child abuse -- in 2001 and 2004.