Monday, June 15, 2009

Local Violence During Custody Exchanges

Many couples with a history of domestic violence continue to parent children together, even after separation. As we've mentioned before on this blog, when the abusive parent must meet with the victim parent to exchange the child(ren) for joint custody or visitation, the time is ripe for continued violence and harassment. Imagine thinking you've left the violence behind you and then learning that you must meet your batterer twice a week to transfer the children.

Just this month, the AJC has published two articles about violence taking place during the exchange of children.

In Gwinnett County, police issued a Levi’s Call alert for a 4-year-old girl allegedly abducted by her father.

Ingrid Reyes called police on Monday to report that her child’s father, 29-year-old Alejandro Humberto Gusman, was supposed to bring their daughter, Ingrid Ghisell Gusman-Reyes, to her at work, but had called and told her he was not bringing the child back and was going to Houston, according to Gwinnett police Cpl. Illana Spellman.

Spellman said that about 11 p.m. Tuesday, the mother called police again “and stated that Mr. Gusman threatened to kill their daughter.”

The alert remained in effect Wednesday afternoon.

Gusman is believed to be driving a gray 1993 Honda Accord, with Texas tag number NCK136.

Ingrid is 3 feet tall, weighs 30 pounds and has straight, shoulder-length brown hair. She was last seen wearing pajama bottoms and a pink Barbie t-shirt.

Spellman asked that anyone with information on the whereabouts of the girl or her father call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS.

In Atlanta, a man opened fire on his ex-wife and her new boyfriend when they arrived at his apartment to drop off their children.
Police have made two arrests in the case of a Sunday afternoon shooting at The Park at Lakewood Apartments.

Demetrius McKinney and Princeton Tolbert were arrested and taken to Fulton County Jail on charges of aggravated assault.

Officer James Polite of the Atlanta Police Department said the incident was a domestic dispute. Pandora McKinney and her boyfriend Princeton Tolbert were dropping off Pandora McKinney’s children with their father, Demetrius McKinney. Words were exchanged and Demetrius McKinney opened fire on Pandora McKinney and Tolbert, who returned fire.

The two injured include Demetrius McKinney, who was shot in the left hand, and bystander Ivan Bonner, who was shot in the right leg.
If you are a survivor of domestic violence who is fearful of continuing communication with a former partner for the exchange of shared children, contact your local domestic violence agency or call the national domestic violence hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) to inquire about supervised exchange.

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