Three Finger Cove – Robert
Copyright © 2012 - 2016
All rights reserved
All rights reserved
On Monday, Mr. Ken took Robert out on the Commander. He just wanted to get away from The Cove for a while, and enjoy that large boat of his. Chief accompanied them, of course, and would walk back and forth, from one side to the other checking out what she might get to see on the water. 'Dad' Ken showed Robert what all the controls did and how to operate them. Then, he let Robert drive the boat.
Robert enjoyed having control of the Commander. Just like the WaveRunner, he could feel the power underneath him and he knew if his 'dad' ever let him go 'full throttle' he would get a 'hard on' as he did on the Yamaha. 'Dad' Ken let the boy have full control and told him to go where ever he wanted. The man wasn't surprised to find they were headed towards the new Lakeside Water Park.
"I see we're headed towards the water park. Any particular reason you wanted to go in that direction?" inquired Mr. Ken.
"Well … when we went past it a few weeks back, I didn't get a good look at it, then. I figured since it was open this weekend, I could watch people using the slides and wave pool and whatever else there is there," replied a smiling Robert.
"And how did you know it was open this weekend?" teased 'dad' Ken.
"Well, Dylan and Daniel said they would be going, if the weather was good, and, as you can see, there isn't a cloud in the sky," teased back Robert. "I just wish we had brought our suits so we could have tried it out," lamented the lad.
"Dad' Ken watched as Robert brought the 38 foot Chris Craft yacht close to the waterpark. He wanted to see how close the lad would try get before he had to take over the controls. The boy kept a pretty decent distance and kept the boat steady in the water. When Mr. Ken asked the lad if he wanted to get a closer look, the boy was ecstatic. Mr. Ken then took control of the boat and headed it towards the dock that a sign said in big block letters, ONLY RESCUE BOATS CAN DOCK HERE. Robert was concerned that they'd get into trouble, if they docked there, but was afraid to say something, as he didn't know what his 'dad' was trying to do.
It was then, Robert saw the smaller sign, underneath, which listed a number of names who could dock there. He had to smile when he saw 'Mr. Ken Thomas' listed third of the five people who could use the docks. He watched from the stern as his 'dad' brought the large boat into the open dock space and set out the bumpers on the sides when Mr. Ken told him to. Before long they were docked and tied up at the Lake Water Safety and Rescue Team Headquarters.
"Why do you get to park here, I mean dock here, 'dad'" inquired Robert.
"Didn't I tell you I built this place? Well, as part of my contract to build it … I also put in it that I would be given unfettered access to the docks. The County Commissioners knew a good thing when they saw it and they couldn't pass up on a state-of-the-art Lake Safety and Rescue facility. So, they acquiesced to my request. That's all there is to it," explained 'dad' Ken.
"Awesome … OK let's go," yelled Robert, as he jumped off the Commander and onto the dock.
"'Son', don't you want to put your swim suit on first?" laughed 'dad' Ken.
"You knew we were coming over here didn't you. Did you bring my suit?" asked Robert, without giving his 'dad' a chance to answer.
"I figured as much and if you hadn't brought us here I would have, myself. I saw how you looked at this place, that first time by, and I could tell you wanted to see it close up. And, Yes, I did bring your suit. Now, come back onboard and let's go down into the cabin and change," called out Mr. Ken.
Robert headed down into the cabin and his 'dad' joined him and they both changed in front of one another. Robert laughed at his 'dad' as he took off his boxers. All Mr. Ken did was send the lad a one-finger reply. They had a good laugh and neither was embarrassed at showing the other what they had since they both were in Mr. Ken's shower with 'dad' Ken naked who wound up holding an equally naked Robert. Nothing was hidden then and not now, either, as they now had a closeness many a regular 'dad' and 'son' wish they could have.
Ken told Chief to protect the boat and she barked her approval of the order. Then, the two walked over to the Lakeside Water Park and Mr. Ken tried to pay the admission. When they wouldn't take his money, he asked for the manager. The manager told Mr. Ken he would have FREE admission for the duration of the Park. When Ken questioned that policy, he learned the County Commissioners made the decision. The man thanked the manger and he and Robert walked into the water park. They found an empty locker and placed their valuables inside it.
Robert couldn't decide which way he wanted to go. Everything there looked so awesome, so he asked his 'dad' where they should begin. Mr. Ken said they should try the wave pool first and get used to the water as it would probably be pretty cold. And, he was right as the water used comes off the lake and is cleaned up and filtered before it is used in the park's water activities.
The two enjoyed the wave pool until the waves were turned off for fifteen minutes as a safety policy. The two then headed to the highest water slide. As they climbed the stairs, Mr. Ken told Robert what Collin told him about how Eric and Brad almost didn't ride it. He told them the much younger boys didn't realize how high they were until they got to the top. 'Dad' Ken told him how they asked if they could go back down and that Ryan said 'NO way'. The man explained that Ryan wasn't about to walk back down those stairs and the only way the boys were going back down was by the slide. Mr. Ken said the four did go down the slide and Eric and Brad loved it so much they couldn't wait to do that again.
When it was their turn to go down the slide, they choose to add two people to the raft so, with more weight, they would get a much better experience. When they got to the end, Robert was just as excited, as he knew Eric and Brad had to be, and he too was wanting to go again. Mr. Ken talked him out of that as there were lots of other slides and activities to try.
It was then Robert spotted Daniel and Dylan and he headed over to say 'Hi'. The three talked about what they'd done that weekend and when Robert told them about the BBQ picnic he felt bad. He realized it sounded like he was boasting and not having invited them only made it worse, in his mind. His two friends said they understood and then they walked away as Mr. Ken came up.
"What was that all about, Robert?" a puzzled 'dad' Ken wanted to know.
"I … I, ahh told them about the BBQ picnic and what we did and all about the sleep over and after I did I realized I sounded like a spoiled brat. 'Dad' … I've never had anything like what we did on Saturday and I didn't understand how bad it could sound until I saw it in their eyes. They were disappointed they weren't invited 'dad', I could tell. I now feel bad inside. How will I ever be able to make it up to them, 'dad'?" Robert wanted to know.
All 'dad' Ken could do was pull the teary eyed lad into him and try to settle the lad down so they could enjoy more of the waterpark. After a minute or so, Robert looked up to his 'dad' and said 'Thank you' and wiped his eyes and pointed to a slide he wanted to go on. The two walked in that direction. As they did, Robert saw Brody and a couple of his 'boys' walking purposefully in another direction. He didn't say anything to his 'dad', he just wanted to stay away from those 8th graders.
The two residents of Three Finger Cove enjoyed a number of other slides and the wave pool, again. They were surprised how many people were there, but being it was the opening day for the waterpark they figured that was the reason. Robert even commented he was surprised he even saw Daniel and Dylan due to the amount of people that were there.
As 'dad' and 'son' got into another line, Robert noticed Logan and Cody in line in front of them. The lad called out to his friends and, when they finally noticed him, he asked them to wait at the top for him and his 'dad', so they could go down the family slide together. But, Logan and Cody waited where they were until Mr. Ken and Robert caught up to them. The four then talked about their weekend the rest of the way to the top. Robert tried not to dwell on the BBQ and the sleepover but the two lads already knew a lot about them from the guys who were there.
Logan confessed he would have liked to have been there but he said he'd been there for an after Holiday swim and sleepover already, and he'd just been there for a wonderful meal and awesome friendship, so he wasn't upset over it. Cody only said he hoped he could get invited to the next party. By then, they reached the top of the slide and waited for the next huge inner tube to come off the conveyer. When it arrived they had to scramble into it before it went down without them. They had a good laugh over that and laughed all the way down the twisting and partially covered slide. They got drenched by a waterfall Mr. Ken had forgotten about from when he rode it on, Opening Day, two years ago.
Robert asked Logan and Cody to hang with them since both pairs had come alone. The now foursome walked and talked some more and tried to decide what to do next. They decided to join the line for the Speed Slides. The slide passed close by them as they climbed the stairs to the top, so they could hear the screams and thumping inside the slide as others went down before them. They could also see at the bottom how big a splash the person made as they exited the slide. The three lads were all looking forward to it. Mr. Ken wouldn't commit a comment although he was still a kid at heart and was secretly hoping the slide was all it was hyped up to be. He wasn't disappointed at all.
Their next stop was the body slide, where they sat in the trough in their swim suit and allowed the water to take them down. After that, they went to the drop slide, where, after taking twists and turns, the slide dropped you off about four feet above and into deep water. All four had a great time doing those.
When they finished the Drop Slide, Cody asked if it was time for a 'pit stop'. The other two lads agreed they needed to stop, too, so the four of them headed to the rest rooms. Mr. Ken finished first since there was no line at his urinal. As he left, he told the three lads to meet him at the concession stand and he'd buy them a snack and a drink. The man passed a couple of older lads as he exited the restroom and didn't pay any attention to them since he didn't know who they were.
Unbeknownst to him, one of the boys was Brody Jordan and the other was Nicholas Crown. The first was the boy who hassled Robert and threw him to the floor. The other bully was prepared to help his buddy Brody, but was stopped by the large number of 7th graders who stood in front of him. The two bullies didn't know Robert and Logan and Cody were in the restroom but were pleasantly surprised when they saw them there at the urinals. They immediately began to hassle them and told them they would get 'theirs', and soon. The three boys left as quickly as they could.
Outside, though, were two of Brody's other bullies and when they saw Logan and Robert and Cody exit the restroom they stopped them from going any further. Robert tried to get around them but Easton Mitchell, brother to Raleigh who had attacked Collin at that same waterpark, and Owen Shappell, the brother of William Shappell who attacked Ryan there at the waterpark, grabbed him and put him back in front of them. Not too long after, Brody and Nicholas came outside.
"So … lookie here ... what do we have here," sneered Brody, with as much venom as he could muster. "We have a spoiled brat, who thinks his foster dad's money will keep him from getting hurt and the stupid fucker who got my girlfriend into lots of trouble. I thinks it might be time for them to learn a lesson, don't you boys?"
"Hey, we didn't do anything to you," yelled Robert.
"Oh, yes you did. I got suspended for 5 days because of you, you little shit, and I swore I'd get back at you for that," taunted Brody. "And as for your buddy, Logan, here …well … he almost got my girlfriend expelled because of the shit he did to her!"
"I didn't do anything to your girlfriend, or any other girl. … I don't even know who your girlfriend is so how could I do anything to her," shouted out Logan.
"Yea, right … you were the one who is responsible for her being sent to the Principal's office, not once, but twice. Now, her dad won't even let her talk to me. He says I'm a big distraction for her. So, now, because of that, I can't get my 'rocks off' and I don't like having 'blue balls. And, when she has my baby … well, enough about that. So … after I get through with you you'll be lucky to have any balls left at all, to produce your own babies," taunted Brody.
Easton and Nicholas and Owen were so interested in watching and listening to their friend, Brody, they didn't notice Cody slowly walk away from their group. As soon as Cody saw he'd gotten clear, he ran, as fast as he could, for the concession stand to tell Mr. Ken what just happened. When he found the man, Mr. Ken didn't let him say anything, he only asked where the other two eating machines where.
"Mister Ken, Robert … Robert and Logan are in big trouble. Brody and his bullies … they have them outside the restroom and … and I think they are planning to hurt them bad, real bad. You gotta come, quick!" pleaded Cody Orbauch.
Ken quickly turned to the concession worker and told them to call for security and for them to go to the restroom on the left as you go down the hill. He and Cody then began running to help his 'son' and his friend. But when they got there, they didn't see them anywhere. Cody went inside the men's rest room to look for them but they weren't there. Mr. Ken, in the meantime, was scanning the grounds for Robert and Logan or where there might be a gathering of a crowd.
Three long minutes had gone by and the security guards still hadn't shown. Mr. Ken saw a lifeguard walking up the slight incline, as if he was going on break, and called him over. He told the teen what was going on and asked him to hurry and call security and get them there as fast as he could. It was another five long minutes before a man showed up wanting to know what all the commotion was all about. Mr. Ken almost went into a rage at the nonchalance and non-caring attitude the man portrayed.
Lucky the man had a two-way radio, so Mr. Ken told him to get the head of security down there, now. The man just stared at him like he was crazy. He said he wasn't going to call anyone until he could make sure they were needed there. Mr. Ken grabbed the radio and began calling for help on it. He didn't care which channel he broadcasted on, he said basically the same thing on them all; "Help me … my 'son' and his friend were accosted by some bullies. I have no idea where in the park they have taken them." Mr. Ken said that half a dozen times on all the channels when finally he got a response.
"Who is this on this radio? This better be legit or you'll be in big trouble, mister. I have better things to do. Now, where are you?" demanded the man on the other end.
In the meantime, Brody and his buddies had taken Robert and Logan to a far corner where Easton held Robert while Nicholas held Logan. Owen also helped hold onto Logan. Brody then began to tell them what he had planned for them and how much fun he was going to have doing it. Easton then added that he was ready to get back at Mr. Ken, for his sending his older brother to jail, and would enjoy watching his kid get beat to a pulp like he should have, in school, two weeks ago.
By now, Mr. Ken was frantic. The security there was a joke and he had no cell phone with which to call anyone. It was then he saw a lady at the pavilions using her cell phone, so he ran over to her, and asked her if he could make an emergency call. The lady was skeptical at first but when she heard his story she hung up and handed her phone to him.
Ken Thomas called the Lake Safety and Rescue Headquarters and talked to the dispatcher. He told him who he was and what was happening at the waterpark and asked if he could get someone, anyone, over there to help him. Three minutes later four Water Rescue guys came running to the pavilion. One had a radio and called over to the Headquarters and asked the man on the upper floor to turn the telescope onto the waterpark and look for at least six boys who don't seem to be having a good time.
The minutes were ticking by without any luck but suddenly, the man on the upper floor spotted a gathering of people, at the far corner of the park. He said there had to be something going on there. Mr. Ken began running in that direction and the four guys tried to keep up. Cody followed along, as best he could. As that was all going on, the Rescue dispatcher had called the Sheriff's Office and explained what he knew was going on and he asked them to send a patrol car.
Just as Mr. Ken reached the crowd, at the far corner of the waterpark, he could see Robert and Logan being held with their arms behind their backs. He could also see a bigger kid, out front, about to hit Logan and then he saw a fist slam into the boy's stomach, before he could get there. Mr. Ken and the four other guys pushed their way through the crowd but not before Brody was able to smash his fist into Logan's face.
What Mr. Ken missed, during all that, was that Easton began to turn Robert around and was about to slug him but Robert beat him to it. When his arms were let free, when Easton turned him around, Robert had made a fist and knew he was going to use it. As soon as Easton had his captive just about turned, he received a hard smack against his face that, not only stunned him, it made the kid see 'stars'. Easton then fell to the ground holding the side of his face.
The four Rescue guys held onto Brody and grabbed Nicholas and Owen before they could run away. Mr. Ken went to the seriously injured Logan and, seeing the condition he was in, he yelled for some towels to keep him warm and from going into shock. The man with the radio called the dispatcher and told him they had a medical emergency and needed an ambulance and Sheriff Deputies. As he got out his request, he heard a siren and before long a Sheriff Deputy was on the scene. But the dispatcher told the man the ambulance was a good 30 minutes away.
Ken Thomas heard what the dispatcher relayed but knew Logan needed to get going to the hospital, well before that. By then, the lifeguards showed up with a backboard and some medical supplies. Mr. Ken took some gauze and placed it on Logan's face to try to stop the blood flow from the nose and then secured it with an ace bandage. He then had the trained lifeguards place the lad on the backboard and get him ready for transport.
As the lifeguards worked on Logan, Mr. Ken took a look at the bully Robert had turned the tide against. Easton wouldn't allow him to look at the side of his face and only cried harder when Mr. Ken tried to pull the hand away. He knew both boys needed medical help, and fast. Finally, the waterpark security arrived and started ordering people to move along. When they saw Mr. Ken attending to Easton, they told him to stop and to wait for the professionals to attend to the boys.
Ken Thomas stood up and got in the face of the man, who was giving the orders, and told the man, "If you had listened to me, and had gotten off your fat lazy asses, this probably wouldn't have happened. And, if you had gotten off your fat lazy asses and were out in the park, where you were supposed to be, none of this would have happened. When I get through with you, you'll never find another job in this area, if I can help it! Now get out of my sight!"
The security guard didn't appreciate being talked to like that, especially in front of so many people, and said in his own words. "Mister, I don't care who you are … but you're coming with me. We did our jobs and now you're interfering with us doing our job so turn around and place your hands behind your back."
Ken Thomas laughed at the man and his partner and then turned to the Rescue men and asked if they could get Logan and the other kid to his boat, the Commander, and he'd take them to The Cove where the ambulance can meet them. As the lifeguards helped the Rescue guys, the security men began to approach Mr. Ken. Robert saw what the security men were going to try to do and got scared. He knew he could never operate the Commander by himself.
The lead security men had his handcuffs in his hand and began to grab for Mr. Ken when the Sheriff's Deputy arrived and told him to stop. The Deputy warned the man if he touched Mr. Ken he would be arrested for Simple Assault. He further told the man he had no police powers and to get out of the way so the man could get the boys to the hospital. Mr. Ken and Robert hurried to the boat. Chief was beside herself with all the activity due to all the men and a hurt boy and a stretcher being loaded onboard. As soon as they got onboard, Robert cast off and Mr. Ken got the Twin 375 hp Caterpillar Diesel Inboards up to speed and off they went with the two Rescue Volunteers attending to the two injured lads.
It took almost fifteen minutes, going at its full 21 knot speed, for the Commander to get to The Cove. An ambulance was waiting in the lower section of the front drive along with Deputy Sheriff Dan Fischer. Dan asked Mr. Ken for as many details he could give him and then let the man and his boy get changed, so they could get to the hospital. As Robert and his 'dad' took showers before getting dressed and off to the hospital, Deputy Fischer went over to Ms. Anderson's home to tell her what happened and take her to see her son at the hospital.
Over at the hospital, Nurse Joanne Kirby was on duty and helped take care of both youths. Easton had a bad headache from being hit by Robert and was referred to the neurosurgeon. Logan had a terrible nose injury and the call went out to Doctor Nick Strausman, the Ear, Nose & Throat doctor, or Otolaryngologist. The man was the same person who worked on Ryan when he was attacked at the same waterpark, two years ago.
Word of the attack at the waterpark got around fast. The people who were at the park called a friend who called another friend and the description of the attack went out to the entire area like a wildfire. Some of the bystanders, who did nothing to stop the attack, had taken videos and then shared them on their Facebook and Twitter and YouTube accounts. The newspaper and television and radio people also heard of the attack, but from the scanners they listen to in order to know what the police and fire departments are involved it. News representatives descended on the hospital with all manner of video cameras, still cameras and mobile production equipment.
Luckily for Ms. Anderson she got there well before the news media found her to interview her and ask inane questions that had nothing to do with what actually happened. By the time Mr. Ken and Robert arrived at the hospital the parking lot was almost full of well-wishers and news people. They took a side entrance and went immediately looking for Nurse Kirby.
"Joanne, can you tell me anything about Logan? Robert was there and would have been the next victim if some men and I hadn't gotten there on time. It's a long story, for sure, but … how's Logan doing?" rambled Mr. Ken.
Nurse Kirby pulled Mr. Ken aside and told him what she knew. She explained what condition the lad was in when he arrived and they called the same doctor who worked on Ryan's nose two years ago. While the woman and man talked, Robert slipped away and began looking for his friend. He cautiously looked in a few rooms before someone asked him what he was looking for. When they heard he wanted the Emergency Room they hand-carried him to the area and left him there. He thought he heard Ms. Anderson's voice and headed in that direction.
"I'm sorry this happened, Mrs. Anderson," lightly said Robert, after he entered the curtained off area.
The woman turned to see who was there and seeing Robert she called him to come to her and see her Logan. Robert was amazed when he saw his friend's face, all bandaged up as it was, and the number of tubes hooked up to the teen. There were also bloody bandages hanging out of the Hazardous Materials receptacle and the bin looked very full.
"Mrs. Anderson … there was nothing I could do. There were four of them and they took us to a far corner of the waterpark and … and they had our arms and hands twisted behind out backs. We both tried to escape but … they were much bigger than us and there were two boys holding onto Logan. I wish I could have gotten free sooner and then I could maybe have kept him from being hit in his face," apologized Robert.
Mrs. Anderson looked at the boy, which she knew as Logan's friend, and asked why they were after them. Robert tried to explain how it all started at school when Joanna Schwimminger was suspended from what she said to Logan after he returned from the hospital. Robert told the woman he may have gotten some of the details mixed up, but he was sure that Brody was really after Logan because of what he thought Logan did to his girlfriend, Joanna. He also told her that if his 'dad' hadn't gotten there, when he did, Brody would have done more to Logan than he was able to do.
Nurse Kirby and Mr. Ken were standing at the curtain as the preteen explained what he thought was the reason behind the attack. Sensing someone was nearby, Robert caught his 'dad' out of the corner of his eye and he ran to the man and began to cry. Mrs. Anderson turned to see who was there and seeing Mr. Ken she went to him and hugged him and thanked him for protecting her son. The woman and Mr. Ken talked more about the attack and why it took so long to find the lad and get to him.
Outside the hospital, the TV News anchor went live from the scene. He repeated what he said he'd been told from the witnesses about the attack at the waterpark and that they were trying to get the doctors to tell them about the condition of the two boys. The television station played some of the video they bought from a bystander and the news anchor described, in detail, the graphic assault caught on the video from that one angle.
Inside the hospital, the roaming TV news reporters were trying to talk to anyone they could about the attack and, of course, to the injured students. Some of the people who'd been at the park at the time of the assault readily talked to the reporters hoping they'd get mentioned in the news cast or the morning paper. As some of them talked to the reporters, one person saw Robert in the ER and told the man that one of the boys involved with the assault was there in the ER. The reporter tried to get into the sealed off area but was rebuffed by hospital security. He did get a picture of the boy, though.
Sheriff Barnes came to the hospital when he was told Mr. Ken Thomas and his 'son' were involved in the altercation at the waterpark. He and Sheriff Deputy Dan Fischer went looking for the two and found them in the ER at Logan Anderson's bedside. Mr. Ken introduced them to Logan's mom and they told the woman the little they could about the attack but reassured her that her son was a victim and not the aggressor. Then, the Sheriff asked to talk to Robert in a private setting. Mr. Ken begrudgingly went with the Sheriff and his Deputy.
Sheriff Barnes told Mr. Ken he became alarmed when he was told he and his son were involved, again, in an altercation at the waterpark. The man was honest by saying he was surprised that something like this could happen twice within two years and two of the same people were involved. Ken Thomas had to fill him in on Collin's departure and that Robert was his new 'son'. When he heard that, the Sheriff apologized, to the man, for jumping to conclusions and then asked if his new 'son' would answer some more questions they had for him.
As the Sheriff and the lad were talking, a TV news reporter got on camera and told how one of the juveniles associated with the days waterpark altercation was now being talked to by Sheriff Barnes, himself. He went on to say that the Sheriff only came out when the situation was so dire that he needed to have direct access to the information and investigation. The on-camera reporter, showed a short video of the lad they said was being talked to by the Sheriff, and made it sound as if Robert had been one of the attackers and would probably be taken to the juvenile detention facility awaiting a hearing.
Judy Turner had heard about the attack at the waterpark, so she turned on her TV to catch whatever she could. She and Eric had been listening to the reports as they sounded too much like what happened to Ryan and Collin, two years ago. It was only when the TV screen showed a picture of the lad they were talking about, as being one of the attackers, that she recognized the boy as Robert. Even Eric yelled "Mom!" when he saw his Best Friend going with Sheriff Barnes and Deputy Fischer.
Judy quickly grabbed her cell phone and called Mr. Ken. When she got through, Mr. Ken began to tell her he didn't have time to talk to her right then and would have to call her back when Judy yelled, "ROBERT IS AN ATTACKER." That got Mr. Ken's attention who then promptly gave the woman his undivided attention. When they hung up, Mr. Ken was livid that the TV News was casting Robert as a 'bad guy'. He stopped the interview and told Barnes and Fischer what he just heard from Judy, so they found a television and turned it on. Sheriff Barnes sent Deputy Fischer directly out to talk to the on-camera person and insist he go on 'live' TV, right now, so the truth would get out sooner than later.
Dan Fischer is a mild mannered man and it takes a lot to ruffle his feathers, but when the on-camera newsperson refused his request for an 'on-air live' report, the man got riled. Even after Deputy Fischer told him their reporting was erroneous and needed to be stopped the man told the Sheriff's Deputy that he would have to wait. What Dan Fischer didn't like was someone, anyone, telling him he'd have to wait, especially when said person thought his position was very high on the totem pole. The people around the two men heard the Deputy say he had important information that needed to get out so they began to chant to get it on the air.
Deputy Fischer took his handcuffs out of their leather holder and brought them around and showed them to the TV news reporter. Dan Fischer proceeded to tell the man that he would be held personally responsible for the riot he was causing by not allowing the truth to be made known.
The KTFC-TV reporter, Richard Casey, got on his radio and talked to the director and told him what was happening inside the hospital. The reporter asked for ready access to go 'live' from his position inside the hospital. When the director refused him' the reporter told him he would be arrested for the riot that was about to happen' if he didn't. The director then radioed the cameraman and asked him for his opinion and when he learned the Deputy had his handcuffs out he relented and told the news reporter he would go 'live' in five minutes.
"This is Richard Casey, KTFC-TV News, reporting that we have breaking news from the regional hospital where Deputy Sheriff Dan Fischer asked for 'live' on-air time. It seems like this reporter had been reporting erroneous information about an attacker and the Deputy here wants to make that correction. Deputy …"
Deputy Dan Fischer looked into the camera and proceeded to say, "Almost twenty minutes ago, Sheriff Barnes was made aware of the fact that KTFC-TV erroneously identified one preteen boy as being one of the attackers at the waterpark incident today. The on-camera reporter, not only showed a picture of a minor child, he also erroneously reported that same boy would be subsequently taken to the Juvenile Detention facility to be processed. The Sheriff wants the community to know that the boy... shown in the video earlier was a victim of the attacks and was being interviewed to get as much from the boy that he remembers before he gets too tired to recall what his attackers did to him and his friend.
"The Sheriff appreciates it when the TV News personnel help him out on certain high-profile cases but, he cannot and will not subscribe to the TV News personnel reporting something so blatantly wrong without any checking of the facts beforehand Those unsubstantiated reporting's very well could result in injurious harm to a citizen … let alone a preteen child. Since, both victims are minor children, the Sheriff will not release their names without the consent of their parents or guardians. Again, I want to reassure the community that the child shown by this reporter earlier was not, and I repeat was NOT, one of the attackers but was instead a victim. I will not take any questions at this time. Thank you." And Deputy Sheriff Fischer walked away from the camera.
TV News reporter Richard Casey began to apologized 'on-air' to his public but the director pulled the feed. The phones at the television station began ringing off the hooks. The station manager had already heard from one of the County Commissioners about the poor reporting methods Mr. Casey performed that evening. The stations incoming email inbox began to overflow and people had already taken to their Facebook accounts to express their total dissatisfaction over the way the television reporter handled the incident. The station went into a pro-active 'cover their butts' mode and began setting the stage for apologies from their station manager and the 10 o'clock news anchors. They hoped they could get ahead of the problem and reduce any flashback from the public.
By now, the whole community heard that Logan had been attacked at the waterpark and they descended upon the hospital. Many brought cards and flowers and wanted to see the boy. Others kept asking about the lad's condition and milling about the hospital.
Inside the ER Department, Mrs. Anderson talked to the surgeon who told her that the damage wasn't as serious as it appeared but that the boy needed surgery to straighten the bridge of the nose and cauterize some bleeding vessels. The surgeon talked to Logan and explained the procedure to him and that he would be required to stay that night and possibly the following night depending on his recovery.
While all of this was going on, Easton's dad, Stanley Mitchell, arrived at the hospital. He had heard that one of the attackers was there at the hospital and he wanted to throttle the lad for what he had done to his son. It seems when Robert smacked his closed fist against the side of the lad's head and face he was only trying to stun the teen and get away from the teen and to go to help his friend. In actuality, Robert's unplanned hit cracked the lad's jaw bone, which was why the teen was in so much pain. The dental surgeon who checked Easton out, told Mr. Mitchell all he surgically needed to do was wire the jaw closed for 4 to 6 weeks and the bone would heal itself. The unfortunate thing about the jaw being wired shut meant the teen had to eat everything through a straw, which meant all his foods had to be sent through a blender.
While waiting in the ER with his son, Mr. Mitchell saw the picture of the boy, who the TV News reporter, misidentified as being one of the attackers. He did not hear the TV News' retraction as he was in talking to the surgeon during the time it played over the airwaves. The man kept his eyes out just in case he came across the boy. He didn't care the lad was much smaller than his son. What he cared about was this was the second time a son of his was attacked at the same waterpark and he wanted to take it out on someone, anyone.
When Robert finished talking to Sheriff Barnes, and his investigators, who arrived a few minutes after Mr. Ken talked to Judy, he and his 'dad' walked back to the ER Department to find out more about Logan and his injuries. Mrs. Anderson told them what the surgeon was going to do, later that evening, and that Logan was resting well and took the news better than she expected.
The two adults talked some more about what happened at the park and Mr. Ken wanted to make sure the woman totally understood that those teenagers had it in for Logan and would have attacked him anywhere they found him. He consoled the woman in that at least people were there to assist Logan and get him the help he needed.
As Mr. Ken and Robert began to walk out of the hospital, newspaper reporters descended upon them wanting to ask the boy what his part was in what happened at the waterpark. Mr. Ken was reluctant to allow Robert to answer any questions but Robert pulled him aside and asked if he could make a statement instead of answering questions they could use to trip him up. The man begrudgingly allowed his 'son' to make his statement.
Robert went and stood in front of his 'dad' and told the assembled crowd, "I will not answer any questions. I do want to make a statement. … My friend and I were enjoying the day at the waterpark when four teenagers accosted us and dragged us to a far corner of the park. My 'dad', had gone ahead and was to meet us at the concession stand but when we didn't appear he attempted to get security involved. They ignored his pleas for help so he called the Lake Safety and Rescue Headquarters, right next door, for anyone who could help.
"I later learned four Rescue volunteers joined with my 'dad' in searching the waterpark grounds for me and my friend. A man on the third floor of the headquarters spotted a gathered crowd and directed the men towards it. As they approached, and before they could take any action, the leader of the group of teens hit my friend in the stomach as hard as he could. Then, as my friend was doubled over, the teenager closed his fist and smashed it against my friend's face.
"What you all need to know is that my friend and I had our arms and hands twisted behind our backs by three other teens. The teen who held me was going to beat me, too, but when he let go of my arms and hands I was able to defend myself and put the teenager out of commission. Then, later, a TV News reporter maliciously misidentified me as one of the attackers and even though there was a retraction it did not mitigate his attack on me and my character. I will be talking to my lawyer in the morning."
Then one of the reporters, not recognizing Mr. Ken standing behind Robert, yelled out, "Who is your dad, kid?"
Robert turned to look at his 'dad' standing behind him and getting a nod he turned back around and replied, "Mr. Ken Thomas."
Robert and Mr. Ken tried to walk away, but Robert was suddenly confronted by Stanley Mitchell. "I heard you're the boy who attacked my son. He has a broken jaw all because of you and you're going to pay. I heard you tell everyone you were going to talk to your lawyer and that is a good thing because when I get finished with you and Mr. Ken, there, neither of you will have place to live. You got away with it the last time, Mr. Thomas, but I assure you that will not happen this time!"
"Are you quite finished, Mr. Mitchell?" yelled Ken Thomas, to the man. "It seems you are not only uninformed you now have a younger son who has followed in his older brothers footsteps. I take it you didn't hear the retraction KTFC-TV made concerning Robert, here. Well, save your money for a defense lawyer because your younger son will definitely need one!" When Mr. Ken finished saying what he had to, he and Robert walked out of the hospital and to their vehicle to drive home.
Robert was physically and emotionally wipe-out from what he went through that day. He and his 'dad' sat together down in the Great Room lightly talking about what happened and what was in store for the boy in the future. It was only nine o'clock PM, but Robert couldn't concentrate anymore nor could he keep his eyes open, so Mr. Ken sent him up to bed. Sleepily, Robert used the bathroom and when he got to his bedroom he stripped off everything but his boxer briefs and then lay down in his bed. His head no sooner hit the pillow and he was out like a light he'd been so tired.
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