Minor sprays deodorant in face of asthmatic mother

Help available for parents overwhelmed by bad behavior

By Carter Pape

The Times-Independent

Moab Police apprehended a minor from Seekhaven Resource Center on charges of aggravated assault after the boy’s mother told police he sprayed her in the face with Axe body spray, knowing she “has a bad case of asthma trying to shut down her breathing,” according to a police report.

Police arrested the juvenile on Feb. 8 and transported him to the juvenile detention center in Blanding.

The mother told police that “she could not deal with him anymore and that he just keeps getting more and more violent every day,” according to the report.

According to police, the woman told her son earlier in the day that he was to join her as she ran some errands, but he said that he wanted to stay home or go to a friend’s house. The mother told him that he could not, and he got mad and punched his mother in the arm then sprayed her with the body spray, according to the report.

When police asked the son about the incident later, he “was upset and yelling,” according to the report. Police said he began kicking his bed frame, pounding a Pepsi can and yelling that his mother “always lies,” according to the report.

According to its website, Seekhaven “assists survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault rebuild their lives. Serving Grand County and Southeastern Utah, Seekhaven provides a wide range of essential services including client advocacy, emergency shelter, and transition assistance.”

The Times-Independent interviewed Moab Police Chief Jim Winder about how to help violent or troubled youth. Winder emphasized the importance of getting help for adolescents before their behavior escalates to an unsafe level.

“The key is: if you’re feeling like it’s starting to unwind on you, get some help, whether it’s formal or informal,” Winder said.

Winder talked about his personal experience when he was a new parent of being unsure whether the behaviors his child was expressing were “normal.” He said that a parenting class he took through his church was “one of the best things” he ever did because it helped get him out of the “rut” of not knowing what to do about his child’s behavior.

“I perceive when we go on these calls, by the time we’ve gotten there, it’s these people who have sadly lived in isolation with this dynamic and now it’s really reached a difficult position,” Winder said.