When Robert De Mond asked his son last year why he was placed in timeout and didn’t get a straight answer, he pulled over, had the 8-year-old hop out of the car, then told him to walk the rest of the way home.
The father is now answering for his “old-school punishment” with a fine and probation.
Judge Kathleen Watanabe with the 5th Circuit Court in Hawaii slapped De Mond with a $200 fine and one year of probation for telling his son to walk the last mile home, despite Hawaii’s law allowing parents to discipline children with punishments such as spanking, KHON-TV reported.
When the incident happened last October, De Mond told the news station, he drove back to the Kuhio Highway, which has ample room on the shoulder but no official sidewalk, he couldn’t find his son: Someone had spotted the boy crying, picked him up and called the police. The child was brought back to the school, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
“I wasn’t able to see my son. I was put under arrest,” he told KHON when he learned of his son’s location, calling the police himself in a panic.
The Garden Island reported that De Mond received charges of second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.
“All I was trying to do is have my son think about his actions and there was no intention at all that I wanted to harm my son. I just wanted him to walk home and think about what he did by the time he got home,” the father told KHON.
Watch the news station’s report:
If De Mond doesn’t have any issues under his probationary period, his record will be cleared.
He told the Star Advertiser that he and his family are looking forward to moving on since the case has been hard on them.
“I’m a pretty big figure in the community for multiple sports,” De Mond said. “For me getting through this and past it was my concern. It’s made me a stronger person, and made me think about being a parent a lot more. It also puts me in a spot. I’m happy to be accountable for my actions if I’m going to preach and tell that to my kids.”
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