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Is It OK to Stop Someone From Spanking Their Kids in Public? One Minn. Man Was Nearly Run-Over For Trying


"I just assumed he would have stopped and left. I didn’t know it would escalate to anything like that at all"

Jamie Godlewski explains why he interfered in the public spanking

A Minnesota man allegedly came close to being run-over after trying to stop a public spanking that he thought was over the line.

“When he hit [his son] in the butt his feet were pretty much parallel to his head and they came back and hit the ground. That’s not a spanking in my book…That’s too much,” the father of three explained.

“I just assumed he would have stopped and left. I didn’t know it would escalate to anything like that at all,” Jamie Godlewski said in retrospect.

Instead, 30-year-old Justin Watson reportedly told him, "What are you going to do about it?" before running back to his car with his two sons, flooring the gas, and starting to chase Godlewski around the parking lot of a local bowling alley.

"I mean he was going so fast his tires were smoking,” Godlewski recalled.

CBS has more information:

For the next 10 minutes, Jamie says Watson tried to run him down, as he stayed closed to a light pole for protection. Watson’s intent was clear to Jamie.

“[Watson] said ‘I’m going to kill you,’” said Jamie.

But that wasn’t all. Godlewski says Watson repeatedly yelled that he was a marine, and later yelled that he was crazy and suffering from post-traumatic stress – all while he tried to hit Jamie with his car.

Witnesses say the game of chicken eventually ended, and Watson [the alleged agressor] pulled up to a curb, picked up his wife and daughter, and sped off.

Watch CBS' interview with Godlewski, below:

WCCO-TV contacted the Marine Corps on Monday to see if there was any validity to the claim that the man was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, but they said there is no record of a Justin Watson listed in their database with his date of birth.

Apparently he has a history of assault convictions going back to 2001, and has been charged with making terroristic threats, but not child abuse.

Despite it all, Jamie Godlewski said he wasn't concerned about his own safety.

“I was worried about the kids. I didn’t care if he was going to harm me or not, but those kids, I wanted them to be safe,” he said.

Police say Godlewski shouldn't have tried to intervene, but instead should have called 911 and given authorities the man's license plate number.

What do you think?

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