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Child Protected by Punching Pregnant Mother
April 9, 2015 permalink
When the Hunt County Texas sheriff's office was called to assist CPS, the deputies knew how to protect the child of pregnant mother Deanna Robinson-Katsuki. They punched her while she was pinned in a corner. The punch is on video, YouTube and local copy (mp4). The video is incomplete because it came from a home security system that recorded in 30 second intervals, then switched to another camera. Two articles are enclosed, the mother's side and the sheriff's side. The sheriff says the mother tried to grab an officer's gun.
Texas Deputies Caught on Camera Punching Pregnant Woman During CPS Visit
Texas deputies stormed into a home with state Child Protective Services workers workers to seize an 18-month-old child last month, forcing the child’s pregnant mother into a counter before punching her at least twice in the back of the head.
The mother, Deanna Robinson-Katsuki, who was almost nine months pregnant, ended up jailed for six days on charges on felony charges that she assaulted an officer and “interference with child custody.”
Part of the incident was captured on a home surveillance camera, a horrific 30-second video showing Hunt County sheriff deputies punching her at least twice as she screams to inform them that she is pregnant.
Since her release from jail, she has given birth, but that child was also seized from her by CPS, but placed in the custody of her mother. However, her 9-year-old stepson was also seized from her and placed in foster care, separated from her 18-month-old son who is in a different foster location.
The incident took place on March 4 at her parent’s home after she had agreed to meet with Department of Family and Protective Services, which is how Texas refers to the more commonly named Child Protective Services, who wanted to check on the welfare of her son.
She agreed to meet with them but when they arrived, they were accompanied by sheriff’s deputies who told her they were taking her son from her.
She asked for a court order, but the deputy flashed her a piece of paper and did not give her a chance to read it. When she asked to examine the document more closely, she said the deputy told her, “that’s not going to happen.”
That was when she attempted to shut the door on them, which led to the deputies forcing their way inside.
The video was first posted on Brett Sanders’ blog and is now going viral. This morning, Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks posted the following statement on the department’s Facebook page:
A Facebook page titled That Happened has also emerged in support of Robinson-Katsuki, which offers more details and photos, including a photo of a letter she received from the Quinlan Independent School District removing her from the “Quinlan ISD Hall of Fame,” where she was inducted in 2008 for her military services in Iraq in 2004, citing her arrest as “conduct deemed unworthy.”
But she has not been convicted.
Also on the Facebook page is a post from a friend who is vouching for her credibility and innocence.
Below is her full statement to PINAC:
The Hunt County CPS investigators asked me to meet them at 8:30pm on the night of March 4, 2015 for an interview and health/welfare check of my 18 month old son. I complied.
At approximately 8:15pm there was a banging on the door that sounded like what I imagine the Gestapo might have sounded like. I opened it to see a large Hunt County Sheriffs Officer on the porch steps, there were 2 more officers behind him. He asked “Are you Deanna Robinson?” I said yes I am. He asked if I was the mother of (my 18 month old son’s name – which was horribly mispronounced) I said yes I am. He said “we are here to remove your son”. I replied “nobody is touching my child without a court order or a warrant….”
He reached behind him and one of the other officers handed him a solid, opaque pocket folder. He opened the folder, revealing approximately the top 1/3 of a sheet of white paper with writing on it. Then quickly closed the folder again and passed it back behind him. I asked to examine the document. He responded “that’s not gonna happen”, so I attempted to close the door again.
Before I could get it closed, he shoved the door open, in the process shoving me backward several steps into the kitchen. My son was standing behind me and a little to my left. All 3 officers had entered the kitchen by that point. The first officer yelled “there’s the kid, somebody grab him….”
I began screaming and trying to block his access to my child. He immediately grabbed me, spun me around and then the two officers seen in the video shoved me into the corner and forcefully pinned me there, slamming my knees, legs, thighs into the lower cabinets, slamming my abdomen into the kitchen counter and even pinning my head down onto the counter initially. I was handcuffed at that point. My parents quickly came to see what the commotion was and my mother grabbed my son to remove him from the middle of the physical aggression. Only after I had been handcuffed did the CPS investigators even bother to enter the house.
I was personally familiar with one of the investigators, Michelle (Hughes. The other CPS Investigator, who is seen turning around and watching my assault while remaining silent and offering no intervention is Jay Borton). She was well aware of my condition and the advanced stage of my pregnancy. At 38+ weeks pregnant, my appearance makes it quite obvious as well. When I noticed Michelle, I began screaming out for her to intervene or at least to verify/remind the Sheriffs Officer that I was pregnant. Again, she remained silent, did not intervene in any way and in fact, turned her head aside when I called out to her.
The video speaks for itself here. Near the end of the clip the officer who is standing aside can be heard to say “somebody shut her up”.
I cannot explain the short duration of the video clip because it was captured by a home security camera that was mounted inside the adjacent room on a wall. The system, apparently, was programmed to record for 30 second intervals and then shift to the next camera (I’m speculating here, based on what I was told. I didn’t install or have any personal knowledge of the camera or system).
Ultimately I was taken to the Hunt County Detention Facility and my son was taken from the arms and the safety of his maternal grandparents’ home, despite their protests, willingness, ability and repeated requests to retain physical custody of him. The paperwork and forms that CPS left behind were all marked “REFUSED NONCOMPLIANT” on the parent signature line, even though I obviously never even saw any of the forms, much less refused to sign them.
I was jailed for 6 days, charged with felony “Assaulting a Police Officer” and “Interference with Child Custody” while my family scrambled and borrowed to pay the bail bond. I am a decorated Veteran of the Iraq war; I have ZERO criminal history, no alcohol, drug or any other problems. I had never been arrested before this night.
During my incarceration I was kept in a holding/processing cell the entire time, and it was explained to me that this was because the facility lacked a medical area appropriate for a pregnant woman. The holding cells do not have beds and the fluorescent lights are left on 24 hours/day. Officers do checks on the holding cells every 15-30 minutes. Each time I encountered any medical personnel, I explained that I had been assaulted during my arrest and I asked to have my injuries documented (either on paper or with photographs). Each time (4 different encounters) I was denied with only the feeble explanation that I “could contact Internal Affairs if I wanted to pursue that kind of thing”. Despite repeated requests, I was never provided with prenatal vitamins or my regular medications.
On the third day, Jay Borton(the CPS Investigator who is seen in the video) came to the jail to meet with me. I was taken to an interview room where Borton placed his business card on the desk between us and stated “I’m Jay Borton, I currently have custody of your son. I’d like to ask you a few questions.”
I replied “I’d like to speak to an attorney, please sir.”
Upon hearing that he snatched the business card back up off the desk, slammed his folio shut and stood up. He began to walk out of the room but instead he stopped in the doorway and said “well, let me ask you this…do you want your court subpoena sent to your home address or your parents’ address?”
I replied “I’d like to speak to an attorney, please sir.”
Borton began to sneer at me “you’re a fool, you must WANT the State to make decisions about your kids” and then he left the room.
Once I was released on bond, I made an urgent appointment with my OB/GYN and finally had my injuries examined & documented and had the status of the baby evaluated.
I was actually inducted into the Quinlan ISD Hall of Fame in 2008 in association with an incident that happened during my deployment to Iraq in 2004. Subsequently I have been removed from the Hall of Fame, citing my arrest as the reason for removal.
As of today, my 18 month old remains in foster care (as well as my 9 year old step son, however they are separated in different locations) – I’m not allowed to know where he is, and despite a court order from March 13th that they be transferred to the custody of my parents. I have only been allowed to “visit” my son for an hour 3 times between the arrest and now. Each time I have been allowed to see him he was sick; with visible dark, runny snot, wheezing, sneezing, coughing and breathing difficulties (have video). He was otherwise perfectly healthy when he was removed. I have been adamantly insisting he get medical care and have been ignored, and eventually was told that I could not attend his medical appointments nor was I allowed to know the name of the provider/pediatrician who would be treating him.
My family and I had put in 3 separate requests to be able to have visitation with them for the Easter Holiday. The first request was verbal (in person but tape recorded), the second & third were in writing (email). They were all ignored. No reply or acknowledgement whatsoever.
I hope I have covered enough. Please feel free to reply if you have additional questions.
This is a developing story, so come back later for more details. There are still many questions that have not been answered, including why does it appear that one of the deputies appears to be wearing a shirt that reads “police” on the back.
It should be noted that since the incident, the Department of Family and Protective Services has come under fire from Texas Governor Greg Abbott after three children have died in its care this year.
Hunt County Sheriff Addresses Pregnant Arrest Video
Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks Wednesday addressed the circumstances around a video that appears to show a deputy punching a pregnant woman.
During a news conference, Meeks said deputies with the Hunt County Sheriff's Department were called in to assist taking custody of a child alleged to have suffered abuse or neglect.
Two deputies, a Quinlan police officer and two CPS workers arrived at the home of Deanna Robinson-Katsuki's parents and said they had a warrant to take custody of her 18-month-old son.
Robinson-Katsuki, who was 38-weeks pregnant at the time, asked to see the warrant and Meeks said deputies showed it to her and allowed her to read it.
Meeks said the situation quickly became chaotic as the woman began yelling that they weren't taking her child. She tried to close the door, but a deputy was able to push the door open and enter the residence.
Meeks said Robinson-Katsuki then became combative, shouted profanities and struck one of the deputies in the face.
At this point, Meeks said, the video in question begins and shows officers attempting to put Robinson-Katsuki under arrest for assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and interfering with child custody.
In the video, it's alleged by Robinson-Katsuki that the deputies pushed her into a corner as one of them hit her with his fist. Meeks said at the time when the woman was struck she was not handcuffed and that she was resisting arrest.
Meeks said there is more evidence present than what the video shows and that more time was needed for investigators with the Texas Rangers to determine what happened throughout the incident.
He added that saying a deputy punched a pregnant woman was only one possible narrative in the story and that a second possible narrative could be that a pregnant woman attempted to take a deputy's gun.
"I believe that we can say that that is a possibility," Meeks said. "Which narrative is correct? I don't know. That is for the Texas Rangers to determine."
When pressed by reporters, Meeks refused to definitively say whether Robinson-Katsuki tried to grab the officer's weapon, that it was only a possibility, and said his department was awaiting filing charges on the allegation until after the Texas Rangers completed their investigation.
"From what I understand, she had got some of his ammo belt off and was reaching for his gun when he delivered the blows to keep her from reaching his service revolver," Meeks said, of his discussion with his deputy about the incident.
"I don't know how many blows that the deputy made. I believe by looking at it that he was trying to keep her hands away from his gun. If someone gets your own gun, you can be killed by a pregnant woman as well as you could a 16-year-old child."
If the investigation shows the deputy acted outside of the law or violated policy, Meeks said the deputy will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Meeks added that his office has not received any complaint from Robinson-Katsuki, or her attorneys, regarding the recorded incident.
The investigation by the Texas Rangers is ongoing.
Robinson-Kutsuki denies she reached for the deputy’s gun.
“That notion is ludicrous,” Robinson-Kutsuki said. “There is nothing that I did, and there is nothing in my mind that exists that warrants that kind of treatment on an extremely pregnant woman.”
Her attorney went on to tell NBC 5 they do not view an investigation by the Texas Rangers as independent, and they are calling for the officer to be removed from duty while the investigation continues.
“There is absolutely no excuse and no justification for what happened to me,” Robinson-Kutsuki said.