Honk for negligent moms

Dateline: Fri 05 Jan 2007

Channel 6's Martha Weaver did a good job going tough on the crazy woman who sprung the $350 bail for Nancy Dyer, who is running last for mother of the year. Dyer made national news and was charged with four counts of neglect after her 3-year-old was found running around on I-465 Saturday morning, literally playing in traffic.

Just when you think things can't get any stranger, they do.

Rita Staton is a member of Honk for Kids, which bills itself as pro-kid advocacy group. Thursday, Staton paid the $350 bond for Dyer's $3,500 bail, freeing her.

Why? Compassion for Dyer? -- or her own twisted revenge on the system?

Staton told Channel 6 in an interview Friday that her family had a bad experience with Child Protective Services when a granddaughter was removed by the agency. So Staton decided to defy her enemy Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi and -- on her own, not as a representative of the Honk group -- champion Dyer. Thus she paid the bail and set Dyer up in a hotel, altho she's had no contact with her.

This is just nuts. Dyer's son could have been killed, and another child was found with a sopping, filthy diaper in her mom's apartment when police arrived there Saturday. But Staton apparently sees Dyer as a victim, pure and simple. With friends like these, Dyer does not need enemies. This is called enabling.

Channel 6's anchor Martha Weaver interviewed Staton and showed her disturbing footage of what police saw when they were in Dyer's apartment -- the younger of her two children half-naked toddling around in a very soiled diaper. "What do you think of that?" Weaver demanded. Staton acknowledged she had not seen the video and seemed to be shaken by the image of the child. Why, asked Weaver, would you want to defend someone who allowed her baby to get in that sad state? What will you do if she flees the state?

The only good news in this sordid story is that both children are in the care of Dyer's dad and stepmother, both experienced foster parents who also adopted Dyer's 15-year-old son. Dyer apparently has an alcohol problem, her family says.

Mercy for those in prison is a virtue; compassion for alcoholics and suffering addicts is, too. Even freeing Dyer is understandable if Staton had sincerely wanted to get her help for her problems.

Instead, Staton seems motivated by her own issues. And then, there's the publicity.

Crazy world.

comments: ruth@ruthholladay.com


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