Mike Tang was sentenced to hard labor (

Dad Gets 56 Days “Hard Labor” for Making Son, 8, Walk Home at Night

A year ago today, Mike Tang, a research chemist in Riverside, California, was frustrated and worried. He’d told his son to do his homework — read a grade-level book, like the teacher asked — but the boy, age 8, chose a baby book instead.
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This was not the first time the boy had done this, and previous punishments like taking away his videogames hadn’t worked. So to put the fear of failure into his son, Tang drove him to the local shopping plaza at around 7:40 pm and showed him, “This is where homeless people sleep.” (There were no actual homeless people present.)  Mike then told the boy that he had to walk home, which was about a mile, along the same route that he walks to school. And off dad drove.
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Someone quickly noticed the boy alone and called 911. Four police cars arrived a few minutes later, as did Tang and his own dad, coming to check up on the boy. They were shocked to find the cops there. Tang was not permitted to talk to his son. Instead he was handcuffed, charged with criminal child neglect, and taken to jail. He was released after midnight.
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Meanwhile, a cop went to his home, entered it and lectured his wife on how to properly discipline kids: “Do you think it’s right for an 8-year-old to walk that far in this cold weather? …He could have been kidnapped.”
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At a jury trial over the summer, Tang represented himself. He hoped to explain that his son had walked the route many times, that he himself had walked home in the dark at that age, that even if the cops didn’t agree with his discipline choices that didn’t make him a criminal, and that the town’s youth curfew of 10 p.m. meant that kids were allowed outside until that time.
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Here are some excerpts from the trial transcript:
 
Prosecutor:  Now, when we think of a mile, we don’t think that that’s very far. But this is someone that didn’t have a car. This was an eight-year-old small child who was told that he had to walk all the way home in the winter at night.
 
Note: This was in Southern California. It was 50 degrees. But it’s certainly true that 8-year-olds don’t have cars.
 
Officer Doty:  At night, anywhere, in my opinion, is just dangerous for a child, for even an adult to walk home that late. Even 8:00 o’clock doesn’t seem that late, but it just is. Anything can happen at any time.  You can get hit by a car, or somebody can walk up behind you, you know, and steal your purse or try and kidnap you. Things like that. It does happen.
 
True. Yet people get into car accidents, too — far more frequently than kids get kidnapped (current stats say about 100/year are kidnapped by strangers, about 1600 die as car passengers). Does that mean no one should drive kids anywhere? After all, “Anything can happen.”
In court, Tang argued:
 
There are always infinitely small risks out there day or night…. My job is not to put them in a bubble and shield them from all possible hypothetical dangers 24/7.
 
The two sides also argued about whether the boy would be hit by a car by crossing at the wrong part of the street — the part with no crosswalk.
 
Mike Tang: You’re saying this dangerous intersection has no crosswalks whatsoever?
 
Officer Doty: No, it does.
 
Mike Tang: It does have crosswalks?
 

Officer Doty: Yes. What we said was, if he continued down east, there’s no crosswalk farther down.

 
Mike Tang:   But you also said he knew the way home, correct?
 

Officer Doty:  Yes

 
Mike Tang:  So if he knew the way home, he would not walk in an improper direction; would you agree with that?
 
Prosecutor:  Objection, speculation.
 
Judge Randall Taylor:  Yeah, that would be speculation, Mr. Tang.
 
So the judge allowed the officers to speculate the boy would walk home the wrong way, where there’s no crosswalk, but did not allow the dad to speculate he would home walk the right way — even though the officers agreed that the boy knows the route.
 
Finally, the officer stated that Tang was in the wrong because he — the officer — would never do what he did:
 

Officer Doty:  In my opinion, if I was in your shoes, I wouldn’t have left my child there. I have a 20-year-old daughter that I would not let her walk home.

 
Tang later asked the court if a man who would not let a 20-year-old walk home at 8 at night struck them as a reasonable judge of danger.
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Apparently it did. This was a jury trial and the verdict came back: Guilty. Tang was sentenced to a fine of $220 plus one year of parenting classes plus 56 days of “hard labor” which sounds like breaking rocks, but is basically picking up trash and other menial tasks for the county.
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To date Tang has refused to do any of these things and now the county is threatening to suspend his driver’s license. Which, Tang pointed out in an email to me, means his son would be doing even more walking.
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Tang has filed an appeal even as the court has issued a warrant for his arrest. We will keep you posted.
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As for my take, I must harken, once again, to the UC Irvine study that was trying to determine why we keep arresting parents for putting their kids in nearly non-existent danger. It found that the more we morally disapprove of a parent, the more danger we believe they put their child in.
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That seems to be what happened to Mike Tang. Anyone who wouldn’t discipline their kids this way (or even let them walk outside alone before age 20) was primed to see him as a bad dad. And the worse a person they believed him to be, the more likely they were to believe the chilly temperature was too cold, the walkable  distance too far, the 7:40 p.m. hour too late, etc., etc. The real danger — small, but not non-existent — loomed large, and the larger it loomed, the more evil seemed Mike Tang, and vice versa, in a spiral of condemnation.
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But just because we don’t agree with a parenting decision doesn’t mean that the government should interfere, unless the parent is truly depraved and dangerous.
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 Mike Tang was and is neither.  – L

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Mike Tang was sentenced to hard labor (but not this hard) for making his son walk a mile as punishment. 

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130 Responses to Dad Gets 56 Days “Hard Labor” for Making Son, 8, Walk Home at Night

  1. Vicki Bradley January 13, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

    It’s a scary time to be alive (especially if you’re a parent)!

  2. Mandy January 13, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

    Aren’t officers supposed to state the facts and not ‘give their opinions. Why was this officer allowed to give his opinion on the matter?

  3. Catherine Caldwell-Harris January 13, 2017 at 12:15 pm #

    Mike Tang is a hero. I admire how he stood up for commonsense in court, against Officer Doty who would not let a 20 year old walk a mile a night!

    I myself would have waited for day-time to ask an 8 year old to walk a mile by himself, andthe reason is that I’m afraid of cops and busybodies, not because I think the child would be at danger.

    Given that no children are on the streets these days, when they are, I worry that children attract attention (because they are unusual). When our brains notice something unusual, we want to take action. I worry that the novelty of seeing a child walking alone on a street means that people in poor or borderline mental health get the idea of talking to the kids, offering them a ride, or doing something worse.

  4. Catherine Caldwell-Harris January 13, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

    My son, 1st grader, said last night: “If your mom and dad leaves the house and you’re all alone, call 9-1-1.”

    Me: “Where did you learn that? In school?”

    My son: “On the ipad. If your mom and dad leaves you alone, call 9-1-1.”

    Hm. My children have several times said that if I go ahead with a discipline step such as removing their access to the ipad, they will call the police because I am being bad, mean and not fair. My son goes so far as to say “.. and they will put you in jail.” Advice? I could say, “Would it be a good thing for our family if I were in jail?”

  5. Mike January 13, 2017 at 12:31 pm #

    One mile? That’s 20 minutes at an average walk.

  6. Workshop January 13, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

    My God. I wish California would secede already and complete it’s descent into stupidity.

  7. MichaelF January 13, 2017 at 1:04 pm #

    If its speculation about not walking in an improper direction, why is is not speculation that the boy will?

  8. Pat Ludwig January 13, 2017 at 1:05 pm #

    Mike Tang is right.

    Mike Tang also had a fool for a lawyer.

  9. BL January 13, 2017 at 1:10 pm #

    “Officer Doty: At night, anywhere, in my opinion, is just dangerous for a child, for even an adult to walk home that late. Even 8:00 o’clock doesn’t seem that late, but it just is.”

    I hate to sound like one of those college snowflakes, but Officer Doty is invalidating my experience!

  10. JJ January 13, 2017 at 1:20 pm #

    This is a horrifying government overreach. If this parenting decision is considered criminal it seems like everything would be open to the same. How about sending to bed without dinner or being forced to clean the garage? My god.

    And the baseline they’re working with is “it’s dangerous for anyone to walk anywhere at 8 o’clock at night” — seriously? Has he ever been to a city? Are all those people in mortal danger once 8 rolls around? And even in suburbs and small towns no one can go for constitutionals or going for a run in the evening. Ludicrous.

  11. Mike Tang January 13, 2017 at 1:21 pm #

    Thanks for all your support. Even if I had a lawyer, it wouldn’t have made a difference. The judge is corrupt. He did not allow me to mention the curfew law as evidence. He said I was arrested for child endangerment and not a curfew violation and hence, it was irrelevant.

    So, even if I had a lawyer, that would’ve just meant another $2000 gone to waste against this corrupt judge. He allowed the prosecutor and police to say their opinions and speculate, but did not allow me to do the same. I’ll keep y’all posted on how this appeal goes.

    —Mike Tang

  12. theresa January 13, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

    I hate to think what the 20 year old daughter thinks of the fact that daddy thinks she can’t walk a mile.

  13. diane January 13, 2017 at 1:26 pm #

    Good luck, Mr. Tang!

  14. John B. January 13, 2017 at 1:44 pm #

    Officer Doty said that he wouldn’t even let his 20-year-old daughter walk home alone. Comparing a 20-year-old adult female to an 8-year-old boy in this circumstance is a bogus comparison in my opinion. Primarily because it is actually more dangerous for a 20-year-old lady to walk 1 mile home by herself at night than it is for an 8-year-old boy. The simple reason being that the young adult female will be more of a target and attract much much more attention from the far majority of perverted uncontrollable men who like women and have no sexual interested in little boys and probably outnumber pedophiles who like little boys 3000 to 1.

    Even taking the sex factor out, an 8-year-old boy is least likely to be carrying a significant amount of cash on him compared to the 20-year-old adult female which would render her a much better target for theft.

    I’m not saying that an 8-year-old boy walking a significant amount of distance home alone at night is completely danger free. I’m just saying that a far majority of the bad guys out there are gonna want to hurt the adult female and could care less about the little boy.

  15. ChicagoDad January 13, 2017 at 1:54 pm #

    Totally ridiculous. I hope Mr. Tang is getting a lawyer now, because it sounds like things are getting worse, not better. I hope Mike and his son get through this. It is wrong, even immoral, for the authorities to criminalize an 8 year old’s evening stroll in his own neighborhood.

    Mike Tang and his son sound like they have some qualities in common. Have you ever noticed that when a son is just like his dad, their arguments can get pretty irrational? I’ve noticed the same with moms and daughters who are a lot alike. It’s like there is an entirely hidden dialog going on that no one else can hear. Some kind of vicarious self-criticism or something. Maybe one day Mike & Son can look back at this and laugh about how, if they weren’t both so hard-headed, defiant and maybe a little impulsive, they both could have avoided a lot of hassle.

  16. ENDA Smith January 13, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

    Mike, you are trying to do right by your kid. If he doesn’t learn how to grow up he will become part of the new generation “Snowflake “. My fear for the future that kids won’t have a clue about anything practical or how to deal with life’s little problems. Society needs to cop on and let kids deal with real live and let parents parent. This dumbass judge needs to wake up and tell these overbearing officers of the law to do their real job and make sure there are no “kid”mappers to cause this kid any fears as he walks home.

  17. Powers January 13, 2017 at 2:00 pm #

    It may not have been criminal, but it was cruel and not likely to be effective.

  18. JulieH January 13, 2017 at 2:21 pm #

    @Powers One person’s opinion of cruel and/or ineffective is sometimes another parent knowing their kid.

    I might have done the same thing – dropping my kid off at the library to get an appropriate book and bring it home. One of my kids, it would have been effective. The other, no so much.

  19. Jason January 13, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

    Someone needs to explain the rules of evidence to that judge and prosecutor!

    It is often brought up here how dangerous riding in a car is compared to walking. I’m curious what the injury/fatality rate is per 100,000 “pedestrian-miles” vs. per 100,000 passenger-miles. Absolute comparisons are useless for determining risk.

  20. Renee Anne January 13, 2017 at 2:52 pm #

    Oh lord, just yesterday my 6 year old son decided he was going to stomp off down the street, over a block ahead of us, because he was angry. We are also in California. We walk this route to and from school every day. Yes, I was behind him with his brother in the stroller, about a block; no, he didn’t cross any streets…but the era of “it takes a village” has gone right out the window. And with the possibility of some sort of….I don’t know, parenting police czar type where the government gets to meddle in parenting decisions (yesterday’s post)……I have to worry if my kid makes a noise that sounds even a bit like distress. I shouldn’t have to. But I do.

  21. Havva January 13, 2017 at 3:36 pm #

    Can’t say I particularly agree with this parenting decision. I comprehend the call, Asian kids often look younger than they are to non-Asians. And it was a non-residential area at night, and he was probably upset. Hearing the set up a person could fear the kid was being abandoned. I’d have been concerned for the kid too. I could almost hear a case for some form of emotional abuse, but conviction would be hard.

    But this from start to finish sounds like the real crime was: single walking while young.

    It has all the single walking while young arguments: children are too feeble to walk (my kid has been able to do a mile ever since she could stay on her feet), to fragile to face weather (was the kid without clothing?) kids are too stupid to walk (only if you don’t teach them), kids are too vulnerable to walk (if the world were that dangerous I would be long dead), kids have no sense of direction (only if they don’t walk and have no responsibility for navigation).

    I would have been sorely tempted to accuse Officer Doty of abusing that 20 year old. Weren’t we just reading Senator Pan’s listing of child’s rights including “The right to …life skills leading to self-sufficiency in adulthood.” I found mile long night walks in SoCal winters (and other seasons) very calming after fights with my parents. Something about the crisp cool air. And what a life skill! At 18 I was frequently walking to my apartment from the train station after work, 2.5 miles. By the time I was 20, they couldn’t have stopped me, even if they had wanted to, short of committing a crime. I had my own money, my own job, and was on the other side of the country. By then I’d walked, at night, for over a mile, through NYC, San Diego, Honolulu, Seattle, Washington DC, Sacramento, and numerous smaller cities, often in temperatures under 50, often alone, and even across bridges without sidewalks. And pretty much no one ever considered me a dare devil at the time. Quite the opposite, I was regularly called “afraidy cat”, “nervous Nelly”, “stuffy”, “too conservative”, etc. Only one of those walks would have been considered daring.

    By 20 I had developed quite a habit of walking off irritation. I think I did 7-12 miles on my longest late night walk it off session (I got lost, and I found my way back anyhow).

  22. Jessica January 13, 2017 at 3:50 pm #

    This idea that “any discipline that seems out of the ordinary is criminal” is awdul.

    I used to teach school. One of my students got in trouble and complained that if I told his dad, he’d get in trouble at home. I asked what the punishment would be. He said “No meat for dinner; only rice and vegetables!” I was so surprised that I laughed. What an unusual way to discipline a little boy– but probably effective! But it would be grossly unfair to make that dad stand in front of a panel of hard-core meat-eaters and defend his right to take pork chops away from his son.

  23. Kirsten January 13, 2017 at 4:13 pm #

    I’ll bet all those people who are still pushing gigantic children in strollers think an 8 year old can’t walk a quarter mile, let alone a mile.

    Mr. Tang, I hope you keep appealing this and win. There needs to be a better precedent set here.

  24. En Passant January 13, 2017 at 4:36 pm #

    Mike Tang January 13, 2017 at 1:21 pm #:

    Thanks for all your support. Even if I had a lawyer, it wouldn’t have made a difference. The judge is corrupt.

    Even if the judge, prosecutor and police were all as crooked as a barrel of snakes, you would be far better off with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. There are many reasons, but here are just a couple reasons off the top:

    1. A lawyer knows how to preserve trial issues for appeal. That makes even a crooked judge think twice.

    2. A lawyer knows more than one way to bring in certain evidence at trial. See reason #1.

    Defending oneself in a criminal trial is at very best a slightly better choice than presenting no defense at all. All too often it is worse.

    That is why even lawyers who are accused of crimes hire another lawyer to represent them at trial.

    Think for a moment how trial might have gone if the dialog Lenore quoted above had been this (my change in boldface):

    Officer Doty: Yes. What we said was, if he continued down east, there’s no crosswalk farther down.

    Mike Tang: But you also said he knew the way home, correct?

    Officer Doty: Yes

    Mike Tang: Did you ask him what route he intended to use to go home?

    Either “yes” or “no” to that factual question opens up possibilities to discredit Officer Doty’s speculation about which route the child might follow.

    Lawyers are trained to think about such things before they ask questions.

    I wish you the best of luck with your appeal, Mr. Tang, and I hope you prevail. But, please, for both yours and your child’s best interest, hire a lawyer to represent you.

  25. marie January 13, 2017 at 4:55 pm #

    Reminds me of the time I was driving my kids home from school (six miles away) and their quarreling and sass got to me. I stopped the car and told them to get out and walk the rest of the way home. I drove home alone, enjoying the silence. They walked home together (only half a mile), enjoying the freedom to be their own silly selves without Mom telling them to knock it off. They came into the house in great spirits, where they found me in good spirits, too. It wasn’t punishment; it was good for them. (Good for me, too.)

    Sometimes kids just need to “blow the stink off” as parents like to say.

  26. Betsy in Michigan January 13, 2017 at 4:57 pm #

    Funny, I thought California was going to be the safe place to be, but maybe Mr. Tang needs to take the family to Canada now (so extradition is harder). How about some counter suits for impinging on his human rights as a reasonable parent. And I hope he’s lawyered up by now – this is seriously getting scary.. I believe that there’s been some thoughtful writing on the problem of jury trials, and while you wouldn’t think this, they are NOT the best way to justice.

  27. A parent January 13, 2017 at 5:05 pm #

    Looking for a source for this story. Anybody have one handy? Not having any luck googling.

  28. HotInLa January 13, 2017 at 5:21 pm #

    Unbelievable. I’m not surprised it’s in CA. That’s a scary freaking place now!

  29. Jason January 13, 2017 at 5:23 pm #

    @A Parent – It’s unlikely this story was newsworthy enough to be in the news, but you should be able to get some information from the Riverside County court’s website (probably for a fee).

  30. Mel T. January 13, 2017 at 5:31 pm #

    To me this is unfair punishment having to do hard labor. Personally, the judge was being very hard on him and Mr. Tang not having good representation for his defense, he was at a loss. I know you do a have a right to be your own lawyer. I do feel that it was wrong for having his 8 year old son walk home by himself which could have put him in danger of possibly being hit by a car or even kidnapped. Today is quite different than lets say 20 years ago. It is really not safe for his boy to walk home alone at night. Yes, Mr. Tang should seek a lawyer and have the punishment repealed. There was no mention of an arrest so I am assuming he wasn’t.

  31. Papilio January 13, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

    Oh, having to walk a mile is “cruel” now??
    I’m surprised Mike wasn’t allowed to speculate his son would use the route he was taught, but the officer could speculate the kid wouldn’t, AND got to speculate about kidnapping.

    “I’m just saying that a far majority of the bad guys out there are gonna want to hurt the adult female and could care less about the little boy.”
    Agreed – I’ve thought the same about 9-year-old Izzy and his mom while the Today Show lady was freaking out about his safety… :-]

  32. MichelleB January 13, 2017 at 7:44 pm #

    First of all, what’s “a baby book”? Unless it’s Goodnight Moon or Pat the Bunny, Mr Tang is being overly dramatic.

    Second of all, do you really think that telling your kid homeless people are homeless because they didn’t do their homework is even remotely a good idea?! Either you’re telling him that their situation is their own fault, or you’re lying to him.

    Is there really no middle ground between taking away the video games and dumping him out in the dark? Like….maybe picking an appropriate book for him if he wouldn’t do it on his own? Making sure he did the assignment because eight year olds are EIGHT YEAR OLDS and sometimes don’t make the best decisions?

    Dumping a kid on a dark road to scare him is worlds different than letting a child walk a known route to get where he needs to be.

  33. Catherine Caldwell-Harris January 13, 2017 at 7:44 pm #

    I understand why Mr. Tang didn’t want to pay $2,000 for a lawyer. Hang in there Mr. Tang!

  34. steve bowes January 13, 2017 at 7:58 pm #

    Scary. My daughter walk a mile home in the dark last night because the piano lesson I dropped her off at was cancelled. I guess it’s just a matter of time before I’m arrested.

  35. sloopyinTEXAS January 13, 2017 at 8:29 pm #

    If you can quote the trial transcript, why can’t you post a .pdf of it?
    Why is there no judge named Randall Taylor showing up in the CA Trial Court Judges Roster?
    Why do the “trial transcript” excerpts have some complete names, some last names only and some people identified merely by their title?
    Why did the Riverside PD say the last Officer Doty they had on staff got killed in 1982?

    Thanks,
    sloopyinTEXAS

  36. Troutwaxer January 13, 2017 at 11:28 pm #

    Crappy parenting meets crappy policing. The phrase “Let these two asses be set to grinding corn” comes to mind.

  37. SKL January 13, 2017 at 11:33 pm #

    I absolutely believe an 8yo can and should walk a mile alone before curfew.

    However, this crap is why my kids rarely did so at 8yo. It’s a shame.

  38. Red January 14, 2017 at 2:48 am #

    The truth here, is that unfortunately now, it really IS the law that dictates how we are all to raise our children. It would take HOURS for me to go through all the isolated but painstakingly sensationalized and overblown child abduction cases and nonexistent satanic ritual abuse incidents that have happened through the years, but it is due to all that propaganda that these arcane over-anal child safety laws have been put in place!!! NO we are no longer free to raise our kids outside a “bubble!!!” Sadly, Mr. tang found this out “the hard way.” But the biggest problem is that there are VERY few parents who “disagree” with our new “Soviet style” child rearing and safety laws. Their “motto” is ,… “CHILD SAFETY AT ALL COSTS!!!” The three last words of that are the most dangerous words ever spoken throughout history!!! ….”AT ALL COSTS!!!” Those three deadly words mean that no price is too big, no curtailment of liberties is too extreme, no human rights atrocities are too severe!!! AT ALL COSTS!!! Tribes of people have been “slaughtered” due to those brash, often angrily spoken words and the often BRUTAL “knee jerk reactions” that have subsequently taken place!!! Look at the way the world’s Sex Offender laws are being done!!! Sex offenses ( regardless how “minor” the offense ) almost always require lifelong “registration!!!” Convictions rates for “alleged” sex offenses are OVER 100 percent!!!All to protect the children?!? YES!!! AT ALL COSTS!!!And sadly, when it comes to keeping children locked up in safety containers, a good 99.9.9% of America and Britain’s parents ( along with the authorities, most of whom are ALSO parents ) BELIEVE in the “AT ALL COSTS” motto. It is their most strictly adhered to “religion!!!” In fact, I dare say, that it is “the religion of the 21st Century!!!” And, believe me, you DO NOT want to have ANYbody call you a “WITCH!!!” ( or WIZARD if you’re a male ) When it comes to “child safety violations,” THAT’S how things currently are in much of the world today, PARTICULARLY here in the United Puritan States of America.

    Unfortunately, this new harsh reality ( with all it’s many terrible facets ) has had decades long social, political, and authoritarian “engineering” put into it. What does that mean? It means that this new child-safety-based orthodox “safety religion”, which is almost UNIVERSALLY adhered to by parents and authorities EVERYWHERE bears all the markings of a new prejudicial “way of thinking” that is certain to stand the test of time. In short, just like way back at the beginning of the “Dark Ages”, we are plummeting deep into a new world of fear, extreme prejudice, hyperbole, careless accusations, 100% conviction rates ( same with the Salem Witch Trials! ), sensationalism, narrow-mindedness, and wholesale condemnation!!! A perceived witch-craft “enabler” would be burned at the stake right alongside the falsely accused “witch” that they were believed to have been “assisting!!” Today, if you let your kids go out and about in town by themselves, in the eyes of the public, the media, an the police, you are basically viewed as a “pedophile enabler!!!” And our arcane, NAZI style Sex Offender registries are keeping the fires of prejudice, paranoia, and “hyper-vigilance” hotter than the blazing SUN!!! It will be one VERY long time before a majority of the children of the world will ever again experience even the slightest “trace” of freedom or independence. As it is now, almost all the video-game arcade places have closed their doors ( this is also due to Smart Phone game apps ), schoolyards, parks, playgrounds, and skate-parks are almost completely “abandoned”,… even on Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays!!! If you DARE to let your kids ride their bicycles, tricycles, and scooters down their own neighborhood street, odds are, the neighbors WILL report you to the cops, and you WILL be charged with “criminal child neglect!!!” That is a FELONY in many states!!!! Almost NO one is “fighting” this because, unfortunately, just about everybody AGREES with it!!! Those that DO disagree with children being “raised in containment” have their hands tied! There’s nothing they can do! Except get on this website and “voice themselves!!!” At my job, there are NO “free range parents.” …NONE whatsoever!!! They wholeheartedly AGREE with law enforcement.

    If God actually DOES “reincarnate” people, ( if talk of “God” offends you, I apologize ) I’m afraid I’m just going to have to ask God if there’s any way I can “opt out!” …without going to “The Bad Place, ofcourse!!!( That is,… NOT reincarnate! )I do NOT want to end up spending my entire future childhood ( boy OR girl ) riding in Greco “Forever” child safety car seats… at age “TEN!!!” ( you talk about “humiliation!!!”) And I do NOT like the idea of spending all my weekends, Summer vacations, and Christmas Holidays being kept locked INDOORS!!! I do NOT like the thought of discovering that, when I’m grown ( in my next life ), I will have physical developmental problems ( weak skinny limbs, poor sense of balance, lack of co-ordination, etc,. ) due to the fact that I was never allowed any physical “challenges”, or even adequate EXERCISE!!! No, I think I’ll PASS on that one. Thank you.

  39. donald January 14, 2017 at 5:02 am #

    Remember when ‘Everything gives you cancer’?

    Fish gives you cancer
    Carrots gives you cancer
    Soybeans gives you cancer
    Lettuce gives you cancer
    Water gives you cancer
    Air gives you cancer
    Worrying about your food gives you cancer

    This is the same as
    ‘Everything makes you an abusive parent’ and ‘Every action that you do is child abuse’ and ‘One incident will scar you children for life’.

    However there is one BIG, HUGE, COLOSSAL difference. It ‘teaches’ children to blame their parents for everything. We can see though this tripe but children cannot. This gives them ‘cart blanch’ to blame their abusive parents for any reason and at anytime they (the children) are in a bad mood and want to take it out on something.

    When children are taught, ‘You SHOULD disrespect and question authority at every turn’, it has long term consequences

  40. donald January 14, 2017 at 6:49 am #

    I want to teach children to be suspicious of every adult. I don’t want them to trust anybody and to be alert for any wrongdoing at all times. I have an EXTREMELY cautious definition of wrongdoing and I want to give them my definition of it. (which includes everything) I’m doing this because I’m concerned about their safety. BTW I think it’s time to change the air in my head.

  41. Mike Tang January 14, 2017 at 8:19 am #

    Anyone wanting a copy of the trial transcript can feel free to email me for the PDF. The officers were from Corona PD not Riverside. If anyone wants to publish this story to a wider audience I’d be glad to provide documents.

    –Mike Tang
    tangxii@yahoo.com

  42. Nicole R. January 14, 2017 at 9:22 am #

    While I personally would have handled the situation differently than Mr. Tang, I think both our children will turn out fine, and I would much rather he and I make different parenting decisions than the government make them for both of us!

    I work in the schools, and I believe one of the main reasons we are seeing such discipline problems nowadays is that parents are afraid to parent because of news stories just like this one. Kids can smell fear a mile away, and most of the time, it’s far better for them to have confident parents who make a few mistakes than wishy-washy ones who second-guess everything.

  43. Richard January 14, 2017 at 12:31 pm #

    Mr. Tang, I strongly second the advice that you retain an attorney. I represent public entities, and so often deal with plaintiffs who are representing themselves–some of them very smart and even experts in their own fields. However, they often misunderstand the nuances of how the substantive law is applied or simply don’t know about all the procedural rules or how they apply. As a result, they often fail to timely object to inadmissible evidence or make motions which would benefit them, or fail to present arguments in their favor which may be meritorious while focusing on others which lack legal merit. Our legal system does not function such that the judge is responsible for uncovering evidence or raising legal issues. Instead, it is based on the premise that both sides will present their best evidence and arguments according to the rules to the judge/jury for a decision. The failure to timely raise legal issues, object to evidence, or timely present evidence in an admissible form often weakens what could be a meritorious case. Obviously, I don’t know the particulars of your case, but an attorney may be able to find or successfully make a meritorious argument that would otherwise be missed or unsuccessful.

  44. Troutwaxer January 14, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

    Mr. Tang, if your son likes to read, you’re already ahead of the game. Take him to a bookstore (there’s a Barnes & Noble in the south parking lot of the Tyler Mall) and let him pick some some of the books that he wants to read, without worrying about whether you or his teacher likes the books, and buy him the exact books he chooses without comment. Comic books are fine too, they help kids make the connections between words and images, plus they’re a useful form of narrative in their own right. The really important thing is to encourage your child to enjoy reading. Getting involved in power struggles over reading is nothing less than idiotic. If you really want to end the struggles, apologize to your son and buy him some of the books he enjoys.

    Also, encourage him to talk about why he likes to read one book instead of another. It may simply be that the books the teacher is selecting are boring. (Teachers tend to insist that certain books be read for various reasons that don’t make much sense if the real goal is to have children increase their reading level. Teachers can be safely ignored on this issue because the real goal is to have your child finish high-school reading at an adult level, not to make sure s/he touches the bases selected by minor bureaucrats as he progresses towards an adult reading level.)

    You might also make a distinction between “homework” and “reading.” It is acceptable to insist on “homework,” but reading is essential and your child should be encouraged to enjoy reading – and don’t worry, the rest will follow. The compromise is probably something along the lines of “do your homework then you can read whatever you want.” If “reading” is part of “homework” maybe you and your son can read together. You can read half a page then he can read half a page. This is a way to be together with your son and give him some parental attention.

    My father used to worry incessantly about my reading science fiction. These days I make my living as a tech, I program computers, and I’m working on a book on programming for children – science fiction has served me very well – and my father could have avoided several nasty moments by refusing to worry about whether I was reading about “the real world.” My guess is that you’re causing the problems by making reading, which should be a pleasure, unpleasant for your son.

    In short, the goal is an adult reading level by age 18. The path is to encourage your son to enjoy reading whatever he wants while ignoring the minor bureaucrats (teachers) and their idiotic reasons for picking one book over another. This will lead to your son being a lifelong reader.

    Telling your son that he’ll be homeless if he doesn’t read what the teacher wants him to is… suboptimal.

  45. donald January 14, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

    “Kids can smell fear a mile away, and most of the time, it’s far better for them to have confident parents who make a few mistakes than wishy-washy ones who second-guess everything.”

    Exactly. kids learn by example. If they’re brought up by partents that are ‘walking on eggs’ Then they themselves become that way.

    This is a copy of a comment I made earlier.

    If you’re not a very good swimmer then you can grab something in the water, push it down, and quickly gasp some fresh air. Likewise, if you’re insecure you can push someone down if order to temporarily make yourself feel better.

    Over the years we have seen an increase of parents walking on eggs because of the tsunami of ‘safety’ rules. However while this is going on, there is an increase of people condemning each other and a belief that ‘nothing’s safe. In order to increase safety, let’s make parents walk on eggs even more.

    And the beat goes on….. Sony and Cher

  46. SKL January 14, 2017 at 3:48 pm #

    Yeah, I probably wouldn’t have done the same as Mr. Tang either, but I’ve had my moments when parenting frustration / concern has led me to choices I mightn’t have made in a lucid moment on the internet. 😛

    I don’t necessarily blame passersby for being concerned either. I’m assuming the child looked upset. My first thought would be that the child had gotten himself lost or was otherwise afraid for some childish reason. I could see going to the child and asking what he’s doing there. If he looked younger or wasn’t able to articulate that he was walking home and his parents knew where he was, then maybe I would have gotten him some help. If he seemed afraid that his parents were going to abuse him at home, well, I would size up the situation and decide what to do. Nothing wrong with checking in and seeing if the kid needs some assistance.

    I don’t know what the cops’ protocol is – I assume it varies from place to place. I don’t think driving the kid home and speaking to his parent to make sure all seems to be OK is a terrible thing.

    The prosecution is where the parents’ rights were infringed. It seems everyone from cop to judge thinks parents’ rights are defined as “what I would do with my kids.”

  47. donald January 14, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

    @ Mike Tang

    It’s quite possible that you will be a pillar of Free range just like Danielle and Sasha Meitiv. As the nation starts to rally behind you, (and are praised by many) you are teaching your son by example.

  48. donald January 14, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

    @ Troutwater

    Question authority at every turn. Push the boundaries just for the sake of seeing how far you can push boundaries. Become argumentative just for something to do.

    This attitude has been getting more common for decades. While this is happening, the government has been undermining parents authority for as long. Children are becoming more and more disobedient while parents are losing their ability to enforce or encourage them to be obedient.

    I think it’s amazing if people don’t understand that these concepts are connected. How can anyone not see this?

    Mike Tang is a hero.

  49. James Pollock January 14, 2017 at 5:28 pm #

    “Children are becoming more and more disobedient while parents are losing their ability to enforce or encourage them to be obedient.”

    This claim has been made, consistently, in every historical period, going back to the Greeks in the 5th century BC.

    “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.” — Socrates, 469BC – 399BC.

    Say, come to think of it, Socrates was also known for questioning authority at every turn. How’d that turn out for him?

  50. George January 14, 2017 at 6:56 pm #

    To those saying Tang should have had a lawyer:

    A lawyer does not usually help much in a case like this. Tang got his chance to tell his story to the jury, and the jury was either going to buy it or not. I don’t know what was wrong with those 12 jurors, but fancy lawyering probably would not have helped.

  51. donald January 14, 2017 at 7:32 pm #

    @ James

    I don’t understand your comment. Are you saying:

    1. That it isn’t true?
    2. It is true and it’s been stated so for centuries?

    Either extreme is bad. Children were much more obedient in 1930. However that’s because many were terrified of stepping out of line in any way! I think there was too much allowance for abuse back then. However I disagree with the extreme of today.

  52. donald January 14, 2017 at 7:38 pm #

    I agree with Tang and that having a lawyer wouldn’t have helped. It would only give him a bill. I’m also thrilled to see the free range mass supporting him. I imagine that he’ll get a lawyer pro bono for his appeal. I’m also looking forward to the ‘egg on face’ as similar to what happened in Maryland.

  53. James Pollock January 14, 2017 at 8:45 pm #

    It’s 1.

    Kids have been kids for approximately all of human history.
    Some of them are obedient. Some are rebellious. Pretty much all of them are capable of both, depending on who is attempting to impose their will on the kid, and whose standard of “obedient” is being applied. There is no trend, recent or otherwise, of kids being more or less obedient… just people who see only a small part of the picture and imagine they’re seeing the whole.

    And, Mr. Tang should have had a lawyer. There are a lot of disputes which do not require one; being the featured player in a criminal trial is almost never one of them.
    He highlights one of his own mistakes… thinking that curfew is relevant to his case. It is not, and therefore is not evidence, and the judge properly rejected his attempts to introduce it as such.
    Another mistake, I think, was having a jury trial. Mr. Tang would have been more likely to win acquittal in a bench trial.

  54. donald January 14, 2017 at 9:32 pm #

    Ok you got me there about whether or not a lawyer would help. He may not have lost. On the good side of that he may be on his way to becoming a free range celebrity.

    I also agree that kids have been kids for all of human history. I disagree of your notion that there is no connection between the increase of children running amuck and the decreasing parental authority.

  55. James Pollock January 14, 2017 at 11:34 pm #

    “I disagree of your notion that there is no connection between the increase of children running amuck and the decreasing parental authority.”

    Donald, there are two things are wrong with your theory…

    A) What increase of children running amuck?

    and

    B) What decrease in parental authority?

  56. Richard January 14, 2017 at 11:39 pm #

    The testimony discussed by Mr. Tang might be one example of where an attorney might have helped. It appears the court may have permitted the officer to provide speculative testimony but then did not allow Mr. Tang to provide such testimony. However, if Mr. Tang did not object to the former, then he waived any objection. The prosecution apparently did object, so the court issued a ruling sustaining the objection. In putting on a case involving the risk to children, generally expert testimony and statistical evidence would be useful, but the submission of such evidence requires a good grounding in the rules of Evidence.

    One area where where people representing themselves often significantly err is in focusing on some general view of justice (telling their story), while the jury instructions will focus the jury on whether specific elements of the violation have been proven. While the underlying story may be important, not knowing to focus on the elements can cause you to miss putting in evidence to counter the prosecution evidence on a particular point which could be the difference between winning and losing. People representing themselves also often make the error of believing that the jury will agree that they were morally right or justified in what they did if only they explain it. That is often a losing argument, and the defendant might be much better served focusing the story on the importance of parental discretion or the inability of the prosecution to show any factual basis for risk or something else. Attorneys with substantial experience in a given jurisdiction may be in a much better position to advise on the better approach under the particular circumstances. These are errors that I see even experienced attorneys representing themselves make because of their emotional investment in being “right.”

  57. donald January 15, 2017 at 12:11 am #

    I guess that you know more than these millions of people. I’m sorry. I forgot who I was talking to.

    This claim has been made, consistently, in every historical period, going back to the Greeks in the 5th century BC.

    “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.” — Socrates, 469BC – 399BC.

  58. James Pollock January 15, 2017 at 8:18 am #

    “I guess that you know more than these millions of people.”

    I addressed my comment to one person. Who are these millions of people who are now butting in? They’ll have to wait their turn.

    “This claim has been made, consistently, in every historical period, going back to the Greeks in the 5th century BC.”
    Yes, thank you, I’m well aware that people have been making the same mistake that you have for a very long time. Did you not notice it when I pointed this out for you?

    Am I understanding your argument is that you are right because lots of people have been laughably wrong about this before?
    OK, then.

    This, by the way, is what is ACTUALLY happening:
    The kids aren’t “running amuck”. The 20-year trend shows a rather distinct downward trend in juvenile criminals. The levels are lower now than they were 40 years ago, too.
    https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/JAR_Display.asp?ID=qa05261
    So that’s two generations, at least, of kids NOT “running amuck”. In America, anyway. Maybe things are different wherever it is you are?

    Parental rights, on the other hand, are the strongest they’ve ever been in the United States. Take some historical examples: Black parents had no rights of any kind until 1868. Parents of Japanese descent had similarly no rights from early 1942 until 1945. And, of course, 100 years ago we had the policy of systematically removing Native American kids from their families “for their own good” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Indian_boarding_schools )

    Now, there HAVE been some government infringements on parental authority… education is mandatory for all children, and largely standardized. Immunization is largely mandatory. And, gee, it’s no longer acceptable to whip your children. Of course, you would only FEEL infringed-upon if you wanted your children uneducated, un-immunized, and whipped. I didn’t, so I was uninfringed by these things. But you see your authority as greatly diminished. Hmmm. AND you’re defensive about it. Double Hmmm.

  59. lrh January 15, 2017 at 9:06 am #

    “But just because we don’t agree with a parenting decision doesn’t mean that the government should interfere, unless the parent is truly depraved and dangerous.
    .
    Mike Tang was and is neither. – L”

    Exactly. Mike should have to justify his parenting to NOBODY. He should be free to practice those things all he wants free and clear of any interference from anybody. Any government that would meddle in his business needs to be overhauled, or abolished and replaced with something else. He has every right to feel enfringed upon.

  60. Donna January 15, 2017 at 10:26 am #

    “To those saying Tang should have had a lawyer:

    A lawyer does not usually help much in a case like this. Tang got his chance to tell his story to the jury, and the jury was either going to buy it or not. I don’t know what was wrong with those 12 jurors, but fancy lawyering probably would not have helped.”

    You are correct that “fancy lawyering” would probably not have helped. Basic lawyering very well might have.

    The point of a trial is two-fold: to tell your story and to keep the other side from telling as much of theirs as possible. Mr. Tang failed miserably at both prongs. Jury trials are not free-for-alls. They are governed by the rules of evidence. If you do not know the rules of evidence, you will fail in both telling your story and keeping out the story of the other side, as was evidenced here.

    He allowed the officer to testify as to his opinion as to the safety of walking home at 8pm without an objection. He allowed the officer to speculate as to things that could happen while walking, including testimony about stealing a purse which I highly doubt the 8 year old boy was carrying on his walk, without objection. He allowed the irrelevant testimony as to the crosswalk in the wrong direction without objection.

    On his side, he failed to get in the testimony about the curfew, which he may have been able to get in if he could not have stopped the testimony about how unsafe it is to be out at 8pm had he known the right argument. I don’t have the whole transcript so I don’t know if he brought out evidence as to the safety of the area, the lighting, sidewalk access, etc. Or if he brought in statistics as to the crime level in the area (if favorable) and crimes against children. He could have nicely converted the police officer into his expert to do all of this.

    And he will most likely lose his appeal. All these legal things that he didn’t do, can’t be appealed. You have to preserve objections to evidence at a trial level. You can’t not object at trial and then argue that evidence was improperly admitted at appeal. You can’t not argue an objection sustained against you at trial and then argue it on appeal. If he had had an attorney who screwed up this bad, he could have had a good claim for ineffective assistance of counsel, but a person representing themselves cannot argue ineffective assistance of counsel.

    But probably even more importantly, I have seen may people who act as their own attorney and they almost without fail fall into one of two categories: bat-shit crazy or incredibly arrogant. Juries may sympathize with bat-shit crazy, but they generally detest incredibly arrogant. Mr. Tang does not appear bat-shit crazy. He does however come across in this brief synopsis of what happened and his own comments as arrogant. Now that may be a completely wrong characterization of Mr. Tang. He may be the most humble person I could ever know if I got to know him, but the jury sees only what is presented to them in court. They don’t get to go home with him and get to know him. Having a buffer in the form of an attorney who did most of the talking, having an attorney who could have presented a rather ridiculous parenting decision in a more favorable light and having an attorney who could have argued the law at a motion for a directed verdict, might have helped this case.

  61. Jessica January 15, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

    I third the idea that he needed a lawyer. My husband is a lawyer (in litigation). While it SEEMS like, if your story makes sense and is accurate, you should win a trial, that isn’t the way it works. As the lawyers here have been saying, there are very particular rules about exactly when, and exactly how, you make your case. And how you argue against the other side. It’s not as simple as “stand up there and be convincing.” If he doesn’t object to the police officer’s speculation– and of course he didn’t; he’s not a lawyer– then the officer just gets to keep going. I mean, I realize the rules are more complicated than that, but that did just stand out to me.

  62. test January 15, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

    @donal I would second James idea that statistically speaking, children do not run amuck. Youth violence and crime rates are down. They take less drugs and drop out of school less often. Teenage pregnancy rates are down (this one is also about contraception obviously).

    They are not absolute little angels obviously and there are plenty of young assholes. However, data show plenty of good things about new generations.

  63. JTW January 15, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

    “I third the idea that he needed a lawyer. My husband is a lawyer (in litigation). While it SEEMS like, if your story makes sense and is accurate, you should win a trial, that isn’t the way it works. ”

    He already replied here that he considered getting a lawyer, but knowing the court system and judiciary he’d be up against determined it was a waste of money as they’re so corrupt and prejudiced there was no winning the case whatever defense he’d come up with.

  64. Richard January 15, 2017 at 1:26 pm #

    JTW, but one of the ways an attorney could assist is in knowing that he didn’t need to convince the system or the judge that he was right. He only needed to convince one of the appointed members of the jury that the prosecution did not prove that he violated a particular statute beyond a reasonable doubt.

  65. Jessica January 15, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

    Exactly, Richard. A “corrupt judge,” (and that’s a pretty serious claim) doesn’t make much difference in a jury trial.

  66. Jessica January 15, 2017 at 2:19 pm #

    Well,I mean, I should amend. A truly corrupt judge could certainly influence a jury trial. But it would have to be a really outrageous case of a very biased judge, and I do have a little more faith in the system than that. I understand that Mr Tang doesn’t have any faith in the system.

  67. James Pollock January 15, 2017 at 2:20 pm #

    The way the debate has been framed here is “should a person be punished for letting/having/making an 8 year old child walk home after dark”.

    However, I think what he was convicted of is more along the lines of “threatening to make an 8-year-old child homeless” and then giving the child reason to believe that the threat would or could be carried out.

    This wasn’t a walk in the sunshine to go the park and play. This was a punishment. One that, apparently, appears to everyone familiar with all the details (except Mr. Tang, of course) to have gone too far.

  68. donald January 15, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

    It’s ironic that this debate started while I was watching a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory. I now feel like I’m arguing with Sheldon.

  69. Andy January 15, 2017 at 2:59 pm #

    Mandy, a police officer relative of mine once said that if a lie told in court were a crime, they would need to build prisons just for the police.

  70. Mike Tang January 15, 2017 at 4:06 pm #

    Thanks everyone for the honest comments and frank discussion. I just wanted to clear some things up, so everyone knows the whole story.

    1.) Yes, I did make objections that the police officers speculated my son would walk home the wrong way, the judge overruled it. But he did not overrule the prosecutor when I speculated.

    2.) The judge also manipulated the trial when I tried to testify that when I was young it was perfectly fine to walk home. He said that was irrelevant. He told me to stop talking even when the prosecutor didn’t object. Yet when the police officers testified, they were allowed to mention one attempted kidnapping in the area in 2006 or something.

    3.) I tried to mention the curfew law and Halloween trick or treating multiple times but the prosecutor objected and the judge didn’t allow me to say those things. He specifically said “the curfew law is 10 pm, everybody knows that, this is 8pm, how is that relevant?” and “Halloween is in October, this is in January, how is that relevant?”

    There is no way in hell he is not corrupt!! Would I have to be arrested at 10pm sharp for the curfew law to be relevant? If I was arrested at 9:59pm it’s no longer relevant? So in October, kids can go trick or treating and kidnappers would leave the alone, but in January, they come out in droves and kidnap kids??

    Even if hiring a lawyer guaranteed a victory, that would still be a financial loss to me. And there’s no guarantee the police might not arrest me again for the same thing a week later.

    A national outcry over this story and bad publicity for Corona Police Department, however, might make them stop this nonsense.

    So at this point, defying them, appealing the verdict, escalating the situation, is the only way I can get them to stop harassing good parents. Yes, winning one trial might have been the high road to take. But stopping police across America from harassing parents for decisions they don’t agree with is my preferred outcome over a “not guilty” verdict.

    –Mike Tang

  71. James Pollock January 15, 2017 at 4:15 pm #

    “It’s ironic that this debate started while I was watching a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory. I now feel like I’m arguing with Sheldon.”

    I asked for evidence… any evidence… to back up your claims.
    You responded with your TV watching habits.

    I accept your concession. Have a nice day, anyway.

  72. Donna January 15, 2017 at 4:16 pm #

    JTW – The only reason that Mr. Tang gave for thinking that the judge corrupt is the fact that the judge allowed the police officer to speculate and state opinion and not him. This did not occur because the judge was corrupt. This is the exact reason that he should have had an attorney. The judge is not suppose to allow anyone to speculate and state opinion, however, the judge is also not required to be Mr. Tang’s attorney because he is too stupid, cheap, arrogant, crazy (pick whichever applies) to hire one. If Mr. Tang doesn’t object, which he did not, then it is not the judge’s place to interfere. The prosecutor, because he is an attorney, did know to object and kept the same evidence out. Oh well.

    My guess is that he also presented this case as a situation where he tried to convince everyone that he was right in what he did. Personally, I think he exhibited poor parenting. If presented with the choice as to whether or not this was good parenting, I would side with the prosecution in that it was a bad parenting decision. If presented with the choice of deciding whether, regardless of whether it was good parenting or bad parenting, the actions were sufficient to amount to child neglect, I would make a different decision. How the argument is framed makes a great difference in who wins. An impartial outsider, like an attorney, would be a better judge of strength of argument. Despite my 10 years experience as a criminal defense attorney, I would never represent myself if charged with a crime. Not because I wouldn’t know the rules of evidence, but because I am too close to the subject matter to rationally analyze it.

  73. Mike Tang January 15, 2017 at 4:30 pm #

    @Donna:

    You could be 100% correct. But let’s analyze the pros and cons of winning the trial with a lawyer and receiving a not guilty verdict instead:

    Pros: I won. No criminal record, no more hassles.

    Cons:

    1. I’m out $2000-$3000
    2. No one will ever hear my story.
    3. Police may do the same thing again. If not to me, to other parents in the area.
    4. A corrupt judge is out there influencing other trials and not being exposed.

    For me, this might be the better outcome than a “not guilty” verdict.

    I’m going to defy the and push the envelope and dare them to escalate this to a point when it becomes newsworthy. I am waiting for the day when they give me life in prison for defying their orders. Or the electric chair. Or taking away all my property to my whole family will be homeless.

    At that point, I’m sure every newspaper in the country will run the story. “Dad gets life in prison for letting kid walk home at 8pm” That will really put these corrupt police in the spotlight.

    I don’t deserve my freedoms if I’m just going to sit here and watch them break the law and get away with it. I might as well be living in North Korea. I’m going to put my neck on the line so we parents can get the freedom of parenting without police and government harassment. To me, that’s better than a “not guilty” verdict.

    Whether that is a crazy or stupid decision is up for debate. But if nobody does anything, then these issues never come to light and more and more cops think a badge gives them the right to push parents around.

    —Mike Tang

  74. George January 15, 2017 at 4:39 pm #

    James says: “Parental rights, on the other hand, are the strongest they’ve ever been in the United States.”

    No. Talk to someone who has had to deal with the family court of CPS. Negro slaves had more autonomy in how they rear their kids than many American parents today.

    And all this second-guessing about Tang’s legal defense is uninformed. Defendants with lawyers get unfairly convicted all the time. Whether he was better off with or without a jury is impossible for anyone here to determine.

  75. James Pollock January 15, 2017 at 6:14 pm #

    “James says: ‘Parental rights, on the other hand, are the strongest they’ve ever been in the United States.’
    No. Talk to someone who has had to deal with the family court of CPS.”

    I AM someone who has had to deal with the family court and CPS.

    “all this second-guessing about Tang’s legal defense is uninformed.”
    Mr. Tang has been informing everyone who would listen.. Are you saying he’s a poor source of information?

    “Defendants with lawyers get unfairly convicted all the time.”
    Well, it is true that some defendants with lawyers get falsely convicted, although I’d dispute “all the time”. So what? That’s an argument to get a lawyer. If it’s hard to win WITH one, how much harder is it to win without one? That’s like saying “people still die in car accidents, even with airbags. So it’s stupid to put airbags in cars…” Or “people who’ve won lottery jackpots have ended up bankrupt. So if you win a lottery, decline the prize.”

    Mr. Tang says:
    ” But let’s analyze the pros and cons of winning the trial with a lawyer and receiving a not guilty verdict instead:
    Pros: I won. No criminal record, no more hassles.
    Cons:
    1. I’m out $2000-$3000
    2. No one will ever hear my story.
    3. Police may do the same thing again. If not to me, to other parents in the area.
    4. A corrupt judge is out there influencing other trials and not being exposed.”

    OK. #1 is true enough… paying for a lawyer does require, well, paying the lawyer. Unless, of course, you cannot afford an attorney. On the other hand, it seems that going without a lawyer is going to end with you in jail. How much will it cost you when you lose your job?

    #2… are you sure you REALLY want this? This is probably the most favorable outlet for your story, and it was framed in a way that was very advantageous for you, and you’re still taking criticism (and not just from me, although, for the record, my opinion mirrors some others that are already posted… not a good choice, but probably not a criminal one, either. But when you told your story to the jury, they decided that you were a criminal.

    #3. Getting yourself convicted does WHAT exactly to stop police from doing “this” again???
    -and-
    #4 You keep saying the judge is corrupt, and the evidence you offer to support this claim is that he (correctly) wouldn’t let you present your irrelevant “evidence”. The word “corrupt” doesn’t mean “someone who did something I didn’t like”.

    “At that point, I’m sure every newspaper in the country will run the story. ‘Dad gets life in prison for letting kid walk home at 8pm’ That will really put these corrupt police in the spotlight.”
    The story might go out, but that’s not the headline. It’ll probably be something more like “Defiant Dad refuses to serve sentence, prefers family to be homeless”

    I’ll close by noting that at no point in your commentary have you discussed your son’s rights or interests, or even claimed that you were or are acting in his best interests. Instead, you’ve chosen to focus on YOUR rights and the nebulous rights of other parents who somehow did not find themselves in court, much less convicted.
    Based on nothing more than your own words, sir, I tentatively conclude that you are not focused on your son’s interests, but rather your own. Was this your intention?

  76. Donna January 15, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

    “Police may do the same thing again. If not to me, to other parents in the area.”

    Yes, you going to trial and LOSING certainly does show those cops. Cops hate winning so they’ll never take a case like this to trial again. (To be read with extreme sarcasm). The cops won, not you! Cops change their behavior when they LOSE trials. Winning pretty much tells them that they did exactly the right thing and they should keep doing it the same way. If you have done anything, you’ve given the authority for cops to arrest MORE parents for stupid stuff, not less.

    “I am waiting for the day when they give me life in prison for defying their orders. Or the electric chair. Or taking away all my property to my whole family will be homeless.”

    Except that none of that can ever happen. You were convicted of a misdemeanor, not murder. The worst that they can do is put you in county jail (you can’t go to prison) for the length of the sentence you originally received and not a single day more (and they have to give you credit for time lapsed since trial). Even at the max of 12 months, that should amount to a few weeks in jail with good time. And it was a $220 fine, so they can only take $220 worth of your property, not all of it. They may be able to get interest and attorney fees for garnishing your wages, but that’s it.

    And seriously, a college-educated person of means going to jail for refusing to comply with a sentence given after being convicted by a jury at a trial is not remotely sympathetic. I highly doubt any attention this garners, other than possibly from Lenore, will be remotely positive. The original arrest was compelling. A temper tantrum over it is not.

  77. Troutwaxer January 15, 2017 at 10:14 pm #

    However, I think what he was convicted of is more along the lines of “threatening to make an 8-year-old child homeless” and then giving the child reason to believe that the threat would or could be carried out.

    Exactly. The charge was probably neglect because emotional abuse is very hard to prove. And as someone noted above, we’re the friendliest audience Mr. Tang is likely to find, and we’re… underwhelmed at best. Mostly I feel bad for Tang Jr.

  78. Richard January 15, 2017 at 11:37 pm #

    Mr. Tang, I wish you and your family well and do not believe that the actions reflected in this story were remotely criminal. However, please make sure that you are fully informed and understand the consequences of your next steps. First it sounds like you may expect something from the court that it does not have the authority to provide. Once sentence has been imposed, unless there are legal grounds to appeal or for the trial judge to impose a new sentence, everyone is stuck with it. Neither the court nor the local detention facilities can just decide it was unfair and undo it. Second, a refusal to pay fines and court fees can have a snowballing effect resulting in consequences that have a much more significant impact on one’s life than the originally imposed penalty. It is very important that you obtain full and complete information concerning the possible consequences of any alternatives to compliance that you might be considering.

  79. toto January 16, 2017 at 6:41 am #

    I disagree with your point here, not because of the risk of the walk, the dangers associated or not to coming back home on a known route, but because it is meant as a punishment.

    I do not think it’s positive to use what could have been a quest in independence as punishment, because it may have the complete opposite effect -and punishments should be related to the issue they try to address anyway-

  80. Emily January 16, 2017 at 1:56 pm #

    >>I disagree with your point here, not because of the risk of the walk, the dangers associated or not to coming back home on a known route, but because it is meant as a punishment.

    I do not think it’s positive to use what could have been a quest in independence as punishment, because it may have the complete opposite effect -and punishments should be related to the issue they try to address anyway.<<

    Ooh, good point. I didn't even think of that, but I agree–behaviours you want to encourage, shouldn't be used as a punishment. So, I'd put the "you did the wrong thing, now you have to walk home at night" in the same category as, say, an athletic coach making players run laps or do push-ups as punishment. Those things are part of conditioning, which makes the athletes physically stronger, and likewise, walking independently, and later, walking independently after dark, are life skills that help kids become mentally stronger, so you're right, it doesn't make sense to use these things as punishments.

    In fact, I don't even think the "crime" here (i.e., choosing a book to read for school that was below grade level) really warranted a punishment. What was really going on with that? Is the boy struggling with reading, but embarrassed to say so? Does he find reading to be boring? Is he trying to rush through the assignment so he can get to another, more desirable activity (like, say, screen time, playing with friends, or a specific outing) more quickly? If he's struggling, maybe a reading tutor would help. If he finds reading boring, I'd take him to the library or the bookstore to pick out a book that appeals to him; maybe one that's based on one of his interests, like sports, or Minecraft. If the boy is simply rushing through the assignment because he'd rather do something else, it's possible to set limits, like, "I want you to get 30 minutes of reading in before watching TV." But, punishing the child for not wanting to read, won't make him more enthusiastic about reading, and treating an independent walk as a punishment, might also sour him on walking to and from places alone.

  81. En Passant January 16, 2017 at 2:06 pm #

    Donna wrote January 15, 2017 at 7:00 pm #:

    The original arrest was compelling. A temper tantrum over it is not.

    Exactly!

    When dealing with courts and injustice, the most effective response is to think with the frontal lobes, not the amygdala.

    That’s what good lawyers do.

    Mr. Tang: Please get a good appellate lawyer to handle your appeal. If what you have said in this forum about the court proceedings is true and reflected in the trial record, a good appellate lawyer might get your conviction overturned and remanded to the lower court. If you succeed in appeal, and you are tried again, hire a good trial lawyer.

    If you prevail on appeal, that will go much further toward correcting the corruption you complain about than anything you can say in this forum.

  82. EricS January 16, 2017 at 2:57 pm #

    Let me start by saying, I think the whole charge is b.s. and a waste of resources. A drain on our already faultering justice system. I don’t think Tang broke any definitive laws. Only people’s opinion of how THEY would raise their kids. Including the arresting cop. But the fact is NOT everyone has the same “worst case thinking” mentality these people have. Let’s just say, half of American parents think free-range, the other think helicoptering. There’s roughly about 113 million parents (in general) in the US. 43 million mothers (http://www.infoplease.com/spot/momcensus1.html), and 70 million fathers (http://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2015/cb15-ff110.html). So that would be a potential 56.5 million people who would be “guilty” in the eyes of the ignorant. I mean law. Based on this court ruling, all logic, common sense, and reason were thrown out the window. And the classic case of reacting to emotions than reason prevailed.

    Which is the same reasoning that, it’s ok and acceptable to let children ride in cars even though many die or get injured every year, compared to even the worse worse case thinking. Or like the mentality that people believe in God, but can’t even begin to consider that there could be other lifeforms in this vast universe. Illogical and incomprehensible.

    That being said. I think Tang went about disciplining his child the wrong way. It sounds to me that he’s the other extreme side of parenting. Giving his children every opportunity he had as a child. Which is good. But he gives them no room for growth. It’s the “parents’ way or no way”. I wouldn’t have made a point of driving him a mile away so that he walks back on his own, just to punish him. It’s one thing if the child wants to do it on his own, or that he was let out early from school and his only option was to walk home instead of waiting for a ride. But to drive out and make a point of making him walk home, when he clearly did not want to is wrong.

    Should the father have been reprimanded? Sure. Did the punishment fit the crime? No. I think it was excessive. A stern warning, and fine. I keep saying, people need to learn about the human brain. From it’s evolution, to it’s function in both children, teens and adults. Because our brain does change over time, whether we realize it or not. It’s why many of us look back in our youth and say to ourselves, “wow, we were dumb shits back then”. But at the time, we thought we knew everything. EVERY generation in human history has gone through these self realizations. Because that’s how our brains were designed to do. It’s how we gain and learn from experience. What experience that is? Well, it’s been pretty much the same up until the last 20-25 years. In the last 20-25 years, the worse case thinking mentality emerged, and just got worse and worse. Till where we are today.

    If this incident had happened back in the 80s and 70s (or earlier), Tang would not have been charged. The kid would have been lectured to listen to his parents. That’s the reason why me and my friends never got away with anything. Because we got lectured and disciplined by teachers, other parents, and even strangers. And on top of that, we would get ratted out, and get a second dose of discipline when we got home. We learned fast to smarten up. I don’t hate my parents, I don’t hate the world, I’m alive and well. And I wouldn’t change my childhood for anything. I am who I am today because of that. And I’m glad for that. Seeing as how many children are turning out now compared to back then.

  83. Jason January 16, 2017 at 6:48 pm #

    I now conclude that Donna was 50% wrong in her initial assessment.

  84. JulieH January 17, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

    @Jason My thoughts exactly.

  85. Mike Tang January 17, 2017 at 2:21 pm #

    @James Pollock:

    I am interested in my son’s rights to walk to / from school and/or the park in the daytime. Another cop could say the same thing (he could be kidnapped or hit by a car).

    The fact that you’re all discussing whether or not my discipline was appropriate or not isn’t the point.

    Had I said “Good job son, I don’t want you to do your homework, I want you to fail the 3rd grade. Now here’s $20 bucks, go down to the store and buy yourself a toy.”

    And then the police arrested me.

    What would you say about my parenting then?

    I’m not framing this arrest in terms of whether or not the discipline was appropriate. I’m framing my story in the context that my discipline is irrelevant.

    Yes, this is about me. It’s about my right to let my son walk outside. Whether for school, recreation, or as part of discipline. That’s for my son and me to decide. Not the state of CA.

    –Mike Tang

  86. James Pollock January 17, 2017 at 3:36 pm #

    “I am interested in my son’s rights to walk to / from school and/or the park in the daytime.”

    I am, too, though obviously not to the same degree as you are. But… has anyone interfered with your sons rights to walk to/from school and/or the park in the daylight? If (or possibly when) they do, I might have a different response.

    “The fact that you’re all discussing whether or not my discipline was appropriate or not isn’t the point.”
    Really? What were you convicted of, again?

    “Had I said “Good job son, I don’t want you to do your homework, I want you to fail the 3rd grade. Now here’s $20 bucks, go down to the store and buy yourself a toy.”
    And then the police arrested me.
    What would you say about my parenting then? ”

    I would have said “you suck as a parent, but that doesn’t seem criminal” Not sure why you ask.

    “I’m not framing this arrest in terms of whether or not the discipline was appropriate. I’m framing my story in the context that my discipline is irrelevant.”
    An important lesson you should have learned from this is that how you’d like to frame a debate is not binding on other people. In a criminal trial, it’s framed for you… the question is “did you violate the statute?” You think not, and fairly vehemently. The police and prosecutor think you did. And… a jury of your peers thought so, too. This is partly because, frankly, you’re just not very good at arguing your position. Ms. Skenazy did a much better job than you did, and you’ve undermined that effort.

    “Yes, this is about me. It’s about my right to let my son walk outside. Whether for school, recreation, or as part of discipline. That’s for my son and me to decide. Not the state of CA.”
    Nope. See above re: framing. Your right to LET your son walk outside, so far as I know, wasn’t and isn’t challenged. Your son’s right to walk outside, definitely wasn’t challenged.

    You’re asking for my support, because you’re asking for the general public’s support and I am one of them. I’m explaining why you’re not getting it, and further, attempting to explain for you why I don’t think it will resonate with most of the rest of the general public, either.

    Mr. Tang, try this exercise.
    Start over, from the beginning, this time framing the issue as one of your child’s best interests. Explain why discipline was appropriate (in terms of your son’s best interests, NOT in terms of your “right” to determine what they are) Explain why the punishment you chose, which obviously comes off as severe and, as one commentor described above, as “cruel”, was in fact reasonable and appropriate. Then explain the steps you took to ensure that, in fact, your son was safe (or as safe as you could make him).
    When you’re done, GO BACK and make sure anything that talks about you, or your rights, or the rights of some nebulous parents, gets taken out. Tell the story as if the person hearing it is only interested in what is best for your son. That is the story you should have started with, never deviated from, and continued with… if you want to win public support that your actions were correct and proper.
    Here’s a hint… the state has ALWAYS reserved for itself the right to determine the best interests of your kid(s)… including whether it’s in your kids’ best interests to stay with you. This is not a recent development. Arguing that they don’t, or shouldn’t, have this power, is a waste of time. They have it, and they’re not going to give it up.

    I’d like to take a minute to explain why the judge let the police officer “speculate” when the prosecutor was questioning him but wouldn’t let the police officer “speculate” when Mr. Tang didn’t. Part of it is the reason given previously… each side is present in the courtroom and may object to any question offered to a witness, if they think the question is improper, and the judge will decide then (and only then) if the witness should not answer the question.
    However, there’s something else at work, as well, related to the nature of witness testimony in general. Any person may testify as to things they sensed directly. “I saw two men arguing on the sidewalk”, “I heard a gunshot”, “I could smell the gunpowder”, or about things they did personally “I called 911”. However, only experts may offer opinions. “Expert” doesn’t just academics with advanced degrees… a plumber with experience being a plumber can be considered an expert on plumbing. An expert usually starts their testimony by identifying what qualifications, exactly, qualifies them as an expert, and the other side can challenge whether or not they really are an expert. OK, here’s where I tie it all together. Speculation is a form of opinion. An experienced police officer is going to be considered an expert on criminal behavior and crime, generally. This means that a cop CAN be asked questions about what crimes can happen. On the other hand, a cop is NOT an expert on what path a small boy is likely to take on the way home… a cop’s opinion on that is no better than anyone else’s. So if one side is asking about how dangerous it is to be outside at night, the cop is likely to be considered an expert on the likelihood, or possibility, of being the victim of a crime, or of various crimes. But then when the same cop is asked about whether or not a specific small boy will follow a safe path or might choose an unsafe path, the cop would be limited to describing what he actually saw. So the “corrupt” judge, following the rules of evidence, allows the cop to speculate when questioned by the prosecutor, but doesn’t allow the cop to speculate when questioned by the defendant. Because the prosecutor knows what questions to ask and how to phrase them, and the defendant does not.

  87. test January 17, 2017 at 4:17 pm #

    @Emily Maybe the kid just liked the book better. Grade level is about how difficult words and sentences are, it has nothing to do with whether the kid will like the content. The kid is guaranteed not to like too difficult book, but may like easy book without there being nothing wrong with the kid – quite a few of my favorite writers use simple language and I am an adult. Besides, 8 years old tend not to be sophisticated when choosing books, they tend to base choice on pictures, whether title sounds interesting and other superficial things. (Which is the reason I do not let my kids choose books by themselves yet – they tend to pick books they don’t actually like to read.)

    If the grade level is not written explicitly on the book, I doubt the kid can even tell which one is which. That being said, if it is explicitly written somewhere, then I would treat it as any other disobedience toward teacher. Otherwise I would simply helped the kid to distinguish between complicated enough and not complicated enough books – but allowed him to read easy books as much as he wants as long as they are not supposed to count towards difficult book assignment.

  88. Mike Tang January 17, 2017 at 6:40 pm #

    @James Pollack

    So what are you saying? If I spank my son for starting fights at school, then it’s OK, but if I spanked him over intentionally wasting food, then it’s OK for the state to put me in jail?

    The action is what’s being looked at. The action is either criminal or not criminal.

    Doesn’t matter if I dropped him off to walk home over a book or because I wanted to have an affair in my back seat at the parking lot.

    Criminals and accidents aren’t going to target my son any more or less based on the fact he walked home due to a disciplinary action. And even if they did, simply looking at my son walking home isn’t going to tell you the reason he was walking home–he could very well be walking home from buying something or playing at the park.

    The cops interfered with my rights and my son’s rights. They pried for an answer and found one they didn’t like. That’s why I was arrested. Has nothing to do with danger, because there obviously wasn’t any presented other than “what could’ve happened.”

    This was not a fair trial, because it was “storytime.” Cops might as well say kids can’t be outside at anytime due to the possibility of being struck by lightning or bit by a mosquito carrying a deadly disease. The only expertise this cop had was making up stories.

  89. Red January 17, 2017 at 8:06 pm #

    If the judge’s 20 year old daughter has gone off to college …

    She’s probably walked more than a mile in the dark. Likely while at least buzzed if not drunk.

    I have to shake my head. At age 16 (in the 1990s), I was a lifeguard on the north side of Chicago. I lived on the south side of Chicago. My route home from my job was: Walk one mile to CTA stop (I think I could have taken a bus for this part of the route, but the bus rarely ever even appeared during my one mile walk). Get on CTA subway for several stops. Walk to Metra. Get on Metra for 28 minute train ride. Sometimes, instead of doing all that shit, I walked the distance from my job to Metra. I just asked Google. Apparently from my pool to my Metra station was 2.7 miles directly through downtown Chicago.

    At age 20, I had been at Northwestern for two years, and had been running all over Chicago and the north suburbs on foot for years.

  90. Donna January 17, 2017 at 8:53 pm #

    “So what are you saying? If I spank my son for starting fights at school, then it’s OK, but if I spanked him over intentionally wasting food, then it’s OK for the state to put me in jail?”

    It does, in fact, work that way. Some punishments are abuse regardless. Others are considered abuse when the punishment is unreasonable in relation to the “misbehavior.” And the more minor the offense, the less rehabilitatable you are considered. I’ve had parents not be arrested/referred to CPS despite leaving mild bruises because the kid’s misbehavior was pretty significant and seen parents who inflicted minor bruising be arrested/lose their parental rights because any level of discipline for the “misbehavior” was ridiculous.

  91. Donna January 17, 2017 at 8:59 pm #

    “I now conclude that Donna was 50% wrong in her initial assessment.”

    Quite possible I would too if I read the entire transcript. Quite possible I wouldn’t. The more Mr. Tang responds, the more I see why he lost and why he really needed an attorney and it has absolutely nothing to do with any evidentiary issue or objection.

  92. James Pollock January 17, 2017 at 9:12 pm #

    “So what are you saying? If I spank my son for starting fights at school, then it’s OK, but if I spanked him over intentionally wasting food, then it’s OK for the state to put me in jail?”

    Mr. Tang, how on Earth did you get that from what I DID say?

    “The action is what’s being looked at. The action is either criminal or not criminal.”
    The action, according to a jury of your peers, is criminal.
    What is not is “letting your child walk home”, despite your continued desire to refer to it as that. The criminal action is, that A) you told your kid he would be homeless, and then B) intentionally abandoned him a considerable distance from home.
    You’ve insisted on phrasing the offense in terms of YOUR rights. You acted beyond your rights, because you do not have a right to abuse or neglect your child, and the jury determined that what you did falls under the statute. Your right to discipline your child as you see fit is NOT unlimited, and in this case, has run into HIS right not to be abused or neglected.. It’s not me telling you this, it’s a jury of your peers who say so. It’s not like you’re denying that you did it.

    “Doesn’t matter if I dropped him off to walk home over a book or because I wanted to have an affair in my back seat at the parking lot”
    Actually, it might… some states have laws that specifically forbid leaving a child alone for purposes of fornication or to enter a bar. I’m too lazy to look up if California is one of them. But you’re right… it doesn’t matter either way… it’s criminal both ways.

    “Criminals and accidents aren’t going to target my son any more or less…”
    You really like going off on irrelevant tangents.

    “simply looking at my son walking home isn’t going to tell you the reason he was walking home–he could very well be walking home from buying something or playing at the park.”
    Perhaps my power of observation is better than yours, but yes, I’m pretty sure I can tell by looking the difference between a child walking home because his parent told him he’s going to be homeless and kicked him out of the house, and a kid who’s walking home after playing in the park. Then, of course, the police aren’t limited to just looking at him… they can ASK him why he’s walking home. And when he answers “My dad said I’m going to be homeless and kicked me out of the car”, they might reasonably suspect that the kid is being abused and/or neglected.

    “The cops interfered with my rights and my son’s rights.”
    You keep saying this as if it were true.

    ” Has nothing to do with danger, because there obviously wasn’t any presented other than ;what could’ve happened.; ”
    Um… The word “danger” means “bad things that could have happened”

    “This was not a fair trial, because…”
    This was not a fair trial, because you chose to handicap yourself and you were not in the stronger position to start with.

    Now… I suggested that if you wanted to be more sympathetic, you should rephrase your presentation to be in terms of your son’s best interests, and specifically should avoid any mention of YOUR rights. What you did, instead, is to discuss YOUR rights further, and decline to mention your son’s best interests at all.
    From this, I determine that you are not sympathetic, do not wish to appear sympathetic, and that you have no one to blame for your conviction but yourself, which you will not do… instead you will be blaming the judge, the prosecutor, the police, and, although you haven’t gotten around to it quite yet, the jury.

    I’m a parent. I can stand behind nearly all of the decisions I’ve ever made in raising my child, but I can also admit that there are a few cases where I can’t… I chose something other than what was best for my child in that moment for selfish reasons, or for convenience, or out of frustration. Now… none of my mistakes rises to the level of being a criminal act, as yours did, but they were mistakes. Here’s the difference between us, Mr. Tang. I can admit that those cases were mistakes. MY mistakes. I learned from them. You don’t appear to be learning from yours. You’ve been given a wakeup call, but you’re still dreaming.

    Here’s the straight dope: Based solely on your commentary here, had I been on your jury, I’d have started out inclined to acquit, but the more I heard from you, the more I’d be likely to vote to convict. You can’t blame that on the judge keeping you from telling your story, because the judge didn’t keep ME from hearing whatever you wanted to say. You can’t blame that on the police officer’s testimony, because I have only yours (and Ms. Skenazy’s, and she’s given you a most favorable “spin”.

    I’ve seen no reason to believe you will successfully appeal this conviction, and your disinclination to show up for your sentence means that eventually you will be treated like a fugitive, which means arrested and held in jail. California’s jails are notoriously overcrowded. I suspect that your fellow inmates will not be impressed when you explain how you were falsely convicted because of your stand on parental rights.

    Good luck, Mr. Tang. You’re going to need it.
    .

  93. Donna January 17, 2017 at 9:34 pm #

    Further, many actions are considered abuse when forced as discipline despite the fact that people engage in them willingly at times. Running is a big one. Forcing my kid to run three miles as punishment may be considered abuse. My child choosing to run a 5k would not be. My child choosing to do a wall-sit to strengthen her quads, not abuse. Me forcing her to do a wall-sit for punishment, possibly abuse. My child taking a cold shower on a hot summer day to cool down, not abuse. Forcing my child into a cold shower as punishment, possibly abuse. My child slurping down hot sauce because she likes it, not abuse. Forcing my child to drink hot sauce as punishment, possibly abuse.

  94. Mike Tang January 18, 2017 at 12:37 am #

    @ Donna

    Remind us why you’re even on here? Are you a supporter of free range kids or not?

    You say “forcing your child do do something may be abuse, whereas if he chose to do it it’s not.”

    You might as well say “forcing a child to clean his room is abuse. forcing a child to go to school is abuse.” Are you saying all a child has to say to not attend school is “I don’t want to go?”

    Get a grip. You do not sound like you are a supporter of parental rights, so why are you even here. You should go to the Gestapo government supporter board.

    There is a LAW saying clearly that kids can be out alone at 8pm. There is no clear law saying kids can eat hot sauce or run 5K’s, but because of people like you who assume the worst in people, there probably should be.

    Did you even read the article? It says had I driven him home, the danger of something bad happening to him (like a car accident) actually increases! So I actually lowered his danger by letting him walk home. The charge is endangerment, not abuse.

    I’m sure if my intention was to abuse him, I would not have dropped him off so close, on a route he knows, and gave him a sweater to wear on this 50 C night.

    Modern day parents who think they’re all sophisticated because they give their kids iPads and lock them up at home like a helpless toddler and buy them Happy Meals everyday are the real child abusers. Look at the obesity epidemic these days and then come back and tell me a mile walk is too long.

    When I was 8 years old, I walked 1.5 miles to the bus stop through a gator filled swamp. When I was 9 or 10, I took an international flight by myself from Orlando, FL to Taipei, Taiwan. And spent the month there with my grandma in a country where I didn’t speak the language!

    Pampering kids does nothing for their maturity. So please grow some balls, America!

  95. Richard January 18, 2017 at 1:06 am #

    Mr. Tang, I won’t respond to all of your last comment to Donna except to say that your attack on her reflects poorly on you rather than on her. But as you are apparently representing yourself in legal proceedings, I am responding to your statement there is a law that clearly allows children to be out at 8 p.m. If you are referring to the curfew, that is a law that forbids particular things. That does not mean that any conduct which does not violate the curfew is permitted. Typically, curfews look only at time and age, and sometimes the reason for being out. On the other hand, child endangerment looks at the risk of harm under all the circumstances known to the person charged. A child being out alone at 8 p.m. may not violate the curfew, but if all the circumstances show that the child was permitted to be alone before 8 pm in a location such that he was exposed to an unreasonable risk of injury then it can be a violation of the child endangerment law.

  96. Mike Tang January 18, 2017 at 1:12 am #

    @Richard

    Based on your comment it would be unlawful for children to be out at anytime!!!
    As there is some imaginary danger present whenever they’re out!
    Hell, there are even dangers at home. Such as a pool or exposed power outlet. Maybe everyone with one of those in their homes should also be locked up.

  97. Mike Tang January 18, 2017 at 1:29 am #

    @James Pollock

    Go to hell, your opinions on what I should’ve done or why my parenting style is different from yours is not relevant. For all I know you’re just a government mouthpiece sent here to dissuade me from fighting the good fight. Last I checked, we lived in a democracy, where people do NOT go to jail simply for disagreeing with someone.

    These child endangerment laws and curfew laws were written in the 70’s and 80’s and I know for sure that it wasn’t an issue back then, but unfortunately for snowflakes like you who fear their own shadow, it seems like danger lurks around every corner.

    I’m shocked why someone who would disagree with free range parenting is even on here. Isn’t that what free range is about–to let our kids be outside without fear of arrest or interference? You surely are batting for the other team and just on here to stir up some shit.

    So, no– I’m not going to go quietly. I’ll do my best to defy, evade, piss-off, and escalate this situation, even if it means my own death. If my death helps anyways advance the rights of kids to be outside, then I’d have done more in one year than anyone out here talking smack and twiddling their thumbs online.

    If I do get caught and do go to jail, then I probably have no choice but to enjoy a criminal life. They basically just told me I’m can either go to jail for bad things like robbery, or go to jail for letting my kid take a stroll outside at 8pm. Hmm..what do you think I will do after I get out of jail with no job?

  98. test January 18, 2017 at 2:15 am #

    @Mike Tang If you are a supporter of a movement, the worst thing you can do is to lie to the movement in order to be conforming, to make it look like “you are one of them” or to make them feel better about themselves. Especially when you are a defense layer experience with CPS and the topic in question is justice system. Donna is a layer experienced with CPS.

    Your argument amounts to “Donna should tell me I was right, because otherwise she does not count as one of us and should leave”. If you want to achieve anything, that sort of logic is quite harmful. If you want to defend your parental rights against legal system, the best thing to start with is to learn about your parental rights within legal system – which is pretty much what layer just told you for free.

    You may disagree, but the judge/jury evaluating the situation based on actual legal system is not corrupt. Judge evaluating it based on your hunches would be.

  99. James Pollock January 18, 2017 at 7:51 am #

    “@Donna
    Remind us why you’re even on here? Are you a supporter of free range kids or not?”
    She is. You’re not.

    “You say “forcing your child do do something may be abuse, whereas if he chose to do it it’s not.””
    No, she didn’t say that. Your skill in paraphrasing what other people are telling you is on par with your other “legal” skills.

    “There is a LAW saying clearly that kids can be out alone at 8pm.”
    No, there isn’t.

    “Did you even read the article? It says had I driven him home, the danger of something bad happening to him (like a car accident) actually increases!”
    Aha! So, when you drove him FROM home, you placed him in danger.

    “@James Pollock

    Go to hell,”
    No thanks. I prefer to remain where you aren’t.

    ” For all I know you’re just a government mouthpiece sent here to dissuade me from fighting the good fight.”
    Yeah, that must be it. Because if I’m just some guy giving you good advice, then you’d have to admit you were wrong, so it CAN’T be that one…

    ” for snowflakes like you who fear their own shadow, it seems like danger lurks around every corner. ”
    You managed to get this wrong, too. I’m disappointed, really… Donna gets to go read the Gestapo-supporters website, while I just get to be a snowflake.government mouthpiece.

    “I’m shocked why someone who would disagree with free range parenting is even on here.”
    Why ARE you here?

    “If I do get caught and do go to jail, then I probably have no choice but to enjoy a criminal life.”
    Probably. That’s usually what happens to stupid people who go to jail.

    “Hmm..what do you think I will do after I get out of jail with no job?”
    WHATEVER it is, I’m sure it will be all about you. you you you.

  100. Donna January 18, 2017 at 10:36 am #

    “There is a LAW saying clearly that kids can be out alone at 8pm.”

    I assume that you mean the curfew law. The only relationship that that particular law has to this case is prohibits your son from being prosecuted in juvenile court for violating curfew as he was not out passed 10pm. Based on your given facts, I will assume that he wasn’t charged in juvenile court and that, therefore, this law is completely irrelevant to your situation.

    Laws are not actually cumulative such that not violating one means that you can’t possibly violate a completely separate law, even when they address the same general activity. The fact that I am well over 21 does not mean that I can walk around outside drunk or drink while sitting in my car or drive drunk because there are laws that prohibit public intoxication, open containers and driving under the influence that function completely independently of the drinking age laws.

    Saying minors cannot be out passed 10pm, doesn’t automatically mean that minors can go and do whatever they want prior to 10pm. If it did, I could not be prosecuted for allowing my 2 year old to wander the streets alone for hours as long as I tracked her down and had her home by 10pm. But I assure you that I would be put in jail and my child would be removed from my care if I allowed that to happen. My arguing the curfew law in my defense would be as ridiculous as you doing it here.

    And the antithesis is also true – allowing your child out alone passed 10pm does not equal child neglect. It could under certain facts I suppose, but I’ve NEVER had a parent charged when their child was charged with a curfew violation, even if they knew their kid was out and about. Why? Because they are two completely separate laws with different elements of proof that function completely separately and it is not required that you violate both in order to be charged for one.

    I’m sorry that you see my attempt to educate you on the law as meaning that I do not support free range kids. I’m sure my child will disagree with you as she walks a mile home from school this afternoon. That said, despite your contention otherwise, I don’t believe that you should have been charged with child neglect in this case. I think what you did is piss-poor parenting, both in the manner of discipline and the need to discipline at all, but piss-poor parenting is not necessarily abusive or neglectful parenting and I don’t think it arose to that level here. But my opinion is meaningless. The only opinions that matter are that of the police, prosecutor and the members of the jury. They disagreed with you and me. You can accept that, while filing an appeal, or you can throw a temper tantrum and make the entire situation worse. You seem hell-bent on doing the latter, so good luck with that.

  101. Richard January 18, 2017 at 10:58 am #

    Mr. Tang, many people are convicted of child endangerment based on an allegation that the conditions inside their home constituted an unreasonable risk of harm to their children. The difference between a criminal and non-criminal act is whether the risk is determined to be unreasonable or reasonable. I assume that the jury found that the amount of risk your child was exposed to under all the circumstances was unreasonable. One of the matters of great concern on this blog is the gradual redefining of the phrase “unreasonable risk” to mean “any risk when the parent is not within a foot of the child.” The curfew and child endangerment laws are simply unrelated to each other and showing that you didn’t violate the curfew (or allow your son to do so) will not help in defending against a child endangerment charge.

  102. A father's will with a badge... January 18, 2017 at 12:59 pm #

    Interesting Officer Doty thinks he can control his 20 year old daughter from walking a mile when she is a grown adult with free will to do as she pleases….unless she still lives with Officer Doty and there are strict rules for her to follow while living there, which includes not walking a mile by yourself because bad things CAN (not necessarily will) happen.

  103. Mike Tang January 18, 2017 at 4:32 pm #

    @Donna,

    Thank you for finally agreeing that my actions were not criminal. I don’t mind being called a piss-poor parent, I agree I did something none of you would have done. But that does not amount to criminal activity.

    Your example of letting a 2 year old outside is irrelevant. If your 2 year old is a genius and knows the way around the neighborhood, and is smart enough to know what’s dangerous, and can figure out how to feed and clothe him/her self and go to the bathroom, then I don’t see why the hell not.

    On the other hand, if an 18 year old is mentally handicapped, on a wheelchair, and can’t move about freely and doesn’t know the way home, then even leaving him out there would be endangering.

    You’re right that the curfew law isn’t all-inclusive, but the fact that my son knows the way home, this is a shorter distance than to/from school, and that there wasn’t any other extenuating circumstance (like he was injured or handicapped, physically or mentally, or the weather was extremely dangerous like if it was during a hurricane), this concludes he was capable of making home by himself, just as capable as any teenager or adult.

    I don’t know about your curfew laws, but the CA curfew law does have a provision that the police shall NOT arrest the parent unless he reasonably believes there has been a violation of the curfew law.

    (You can Google it, Riverside County Ordinance #339.2)

    Because the CA law protects the parent for non-violations of the curfew law, and since my son walking outside was clearly not a violation, it could be inferred that legally I had the right to let him walk outside alone, as long as there did not exist any other violations or dangers that could’ve prevented him from making it home alone.

  104. Donna January 19, 2017 at 9:05 am #

    “Your example of letting a 2 year old outside is irrelevant. If your 2 year old is a genius and knows the way around the neighborhood, and is smart enough to know what’s dangerous, and can figure out how to feed and clothe him/her self and go to the bathroom, then I don’t see why the hell not.

    On the other hand, if an 18 year old is mentally handicapped, on a wheelchair, and can’t move about freely and doesn’t know the way home, then even leaving him out there would be endangering.”

    Which is the EXACT reason why the curfew law is completely irrelevant to the child neglect and abuse statute. This is why your argument of “I didn’t violate the curfew law, and therefore, I cannot possibly be guilty of child neglect” is 100% faulty and completely legally invalid. Neglect and abuse is not defined by another law. It is defined solely by the actions in the exact circumstances as they occurred on the day in question. It is not neglect for me to allow my child to go to the park and play at noon. It is likely neglect for me to allow the exact same child at the exact same time of day go play at a crack house. I did not violate the curfew law in either case and relying on the curfew law would not help me in either case.

    “CA curfew law does have a provision that the police shall NOT arrest the parent unless he reasonably believes there has been a violation of the curfew law.”

    Yes, the curfew law does not allow parents to be arrested for violating the curfew law unless the child has actually violated the curfew law. That is pretty standard for any city ordinance or law. The police cannot arrest people for violations of ANY law unless they reasonably believe that a violation has occurred. The police can’t arrest you for murder if nobody is dead. They can’t arrest you for theft if nothing has been stolen. Had you been arrested for a curfew violation, you would have had a GREAT defense and maybe even a lawsuit for false arrest. However, that places absolutely no limitations whatsoever on the ability to arrest you for a completely separate crime that has nothing whatsoever to do with curfew.

    “Because the CA law protects the parent for non-violations of the curfew law, and since my son walking outside was clearly not a violation, it could be inferred that legally I had the right to let him walk outside alone”

    Again, this is not something particular to CA or this law. You absolutely cannot be arrested for violating ANY law if it is factually clear that no violation of the law actually occurred. That is simple common sense. This is no way infers that an action that does not violate that one specific law does not violate another completely separate law. The fact that there is no dead person does not prevent me from being arrested for theft when I steal someone’s car. It simply prevents me from being arrested for murder. Likewise, the fact that you did not commit a curfew violation does not prevent you for being arrested for child neglect, it simply prevents you from being arrested for a curfew violation.

    Once the officer testified that it is unsafe for ANYONE to be out alone at 8pm, I do think you could have argued to bring up the curfew law to rebut that statement and show that the City of Riverside does not believe that the city is so unsafe that everyone needs to be behind locked doors by 8pm. You probably would have needed a good legal argument and case law supporting it to get it in. But the argument that the curfew law gave you some affirmative right is 100% faulty and it was not an error to not allow the curfew law in to prove that argument.

  105. AmyP January 19, 2017 at 11:54 am #

    Why is it that courts are allowed to make decisions based on what could happen? Yeah, he could have been hit by a car or kid napped but he wasn’t. I’m an adult and either of those things could happen to me too. Who would they take to court for that? Parenting is so hard without blaming us for hypotheticals. This kind of reminds me of a situation I had with my own son when he was about eight. He decided he wanted to run away from home. The first time I went after him. I then took him and drove him to where the homeless people slept under the bridge to show him where people with no home lived. It was cold and rainy that day. That worked for a little while but a month later he did it again. This time I let him trusting that he’d make it a mile and come back. He did. We were dealing with the death of my husband at the time, so I knew he was having an emotionally hard time. So was I, adjusting to being a single parent. Was it the right decision? Who knows? We don’t suddenly have all the right answers the moment we have kids. I can’t say it was the best course of action for me to take, but I shudder to think that I could have been criminalized had the police picked him up while he was out.

  106. Donna January 19, 2017 at 1:11 pm #

    “Yeah, he could have been hit by a car or kid napped but he wasn’t. I’m an adult and either of those things could happen to me too. Who would they take to court for that?”

    Adults and children are not equals. Nobody is charged by law with keeping you safe. You are responsible for that all on your own. However, as a parent you are responsible under the law for making decisions that do not put your children in an unreasonable risk. Whether this particular risk was an unreasonable one is open for debate, but the fact that parents are legally held accountable for the safety of their children in a way that they are not for adults is not.

    And, of course they can look at what could happen, otherwise the law could not protect children from bad parents much at all and we’d have a lot more dead children. Baby crawling in the street? Oh well, we can’t do anything until the baby actually gets hit by a car even though it is clearly at a substantial risk for that. The reasonableness of the could haves is open for debate, but the fact that law enforcement can do nothing until a tragedy actually occurs is not.

    Further, we have no idea why the jury made the decision it made. That is just another “could have.” It could have discounted these the things mentioned and still found him guilty of this crime because of emotional suffering put on the child. They could have voted for guilty because they found his parents skills greatly lacking. My former judge said that he was once on a jury (why anyone would put a judge on a jury is beyond me) and they spent an hour discussing the defendants tie, so maybe they just didn’t like Mr. Tang’s tie. When I have a chance to talk to juries after trials, I am often surprised by what evidence was most important to them and why they came to the decision that they made.

  107. BL January 19, 2017 at 1:22 pm #

    @Donna
    “My former judge said that he was once on a jury (why anyone would put a judge on a jury is beyond me)”

    I was once in a jury pool that included the chief justice of the state supreme court. I don’t know if he was selected.

    Interestingly, anyone employed by the *legislative* branch of the state government was exempt from jury duty, even if they just emptied ashtrays in the state capitol building.

    (This was in Texas, by the way)

  108. Mike Tang January 19, 2017 at 8:24 pm #

    @Donna

    “And, of course they can look at what could happen, otherwise the law could not protect children from bad parents ”

    If the streets are so bad that a children, or ANYONE as the cop put it, can’t even walk safely outside, then I think the cops should probably be focusing their energy on arresting the dangerous kidnappers and drug dealers, rather than parents who let their kids walk outside.

    “Baby crawling in the street? Oh well, we can’t do anything until the baby actually gets hit by a car even though it is clearly at a substantial risk for that.”

    You keep using the baby analogy as if that’s something I’d do. A baby cannot walk, nor get home, nor run from danger or cry for help. An 8 year old who has demonstrated capability to walk this route to and from school multiple times is another story.

    We also see lost / stray pets and dogs all the time and a reward for found pet. Do these owners get charged with “animal abuse” for being careless and letting their pets wander the streets?

    The real culprit here are the ambiguous laws that state “willfully place in danger,” without giving any minimum threshold for that danger. That gives the police officers leeway to exaggerate and make up stories based on “would’ve, could’ve, should’ve.”

    I could say everyone in CA is always in danger from dying in an earthquake. Kids could be struck by lightning playing outside on an overcast day. Kids could be bit by a mosquito carrying a deadly disease. Kids could be poisoned by eating Halloween candy they got from a stranger.

    Does any parent get arrested for letting their kids do any of those things? NO.
    Because those risks are infinitely small. Same logic in my case.

    I admit I was loud and defiant during trial. So what if the jury didn’t like me. If they voted guilty because they didn’t like what I said, or what tie I wore, or my race, then it serves them right that I’m wasting their tax dollars right now, defying the court order, appealing my case, evading arrest, and giving them what little payback I can dish out to them. This case proves the jury is a joke. If I was an innocent man and I gave them the finger, and they change their vote to guilty, then they are just soft people with fragile egos.

    As we speak, I found out where the two officers live. I’m writing a letter to all his neighbors to let them know that this badge-wearing coward with nothing better to do will arrest anyone outside at anytime he feels is dangerous. Let’s see how the general public responds to him….

  109. James Pollock January 19, 2017 at 8:42 pm #

    “Why is it that courts are allowed to make decisions based on what could happen?”

    Because it’s better that way, stopping someone from doing stuff that is going to get somebody hurt, rather than waiting until after they’ve done it. Consider:

    Crazed gunman: Bang!
    Policeman: OK, you missed that time, but I’m going to have to ask you to stop firing your gun near where that group of children are playing.
    Crazed gunman: Bang!
    Policeman: No, seriously, stop doing that.
    Crazed gunman. Bang! Bang! Bang!
    Policeman: If you don’t stop, someone’s going to get hurt, even though you are a remarkably bad shot.
    Crazed gunman: Bang!
    Policeman: Now that you’ve killed that child, you’re under arrest.

    -or-

    Policeman: Sir, is there a reason this dog is driving your car on the freeway?
    Idiot: Not really, I just wanted to see if he could do it.
    Policeman: Well, I started following you when your car crossed over the median, and made all those other drivers perform superhuman driving to avoid crashing into you. but…, they didn’t, so you’re free to go.
    Idiot: You heard the man, Rover. Floor it! Good boy!

    -or-

    Policeman: Let me get this straight… you left your two-year-old with your four-year-old in the pool, while you drove to store?
    Parent: Yep. …was outta beer.
    Policeman: And the two-year-old fell in the deep end and drowned?
    Parent: No… he’s brain-dead, but he isn’t dead-dead.
    Policeman: OK, then. That should be everything I need for my report. Thanks for your time.

    Those are the reasons why depraved indifference murder, reckless driving, and child neglect are crimes.

    “I was once in a jury pool that included the chief justice of the state supreme court. I don’t know if he was selected.”

    The justice was there because they, collectively, make a big deal of the fact that jury duty is a civic responsibility that applies to all citizens. Being excluded from jury duty should apply to A) people who are incapable of serving, and B) people who can show that they have met their civic responsibility in other ways, which are more important than jury duty. For example, many jurisdictions excluded volunteer firefighters from service. If there’s a fire, we want them to go fight the fire, rather than be stuck in a courtroom.

    Now… most lawyers don’t want other lawyers on the jury. This is because lawyers are likely to see a case, and be able to extrapolate things that are missing. For example, if a piece of evidence is excluded from trial because the police didn’t obtain it properly, a lawyer can probably figure this out from the things they DO see presented as evidence. Because of this, lawyers are often challenged by one side or the other when the jury is being selected.

  110. AmyP January 19, 2017 at 9:23 pm #

    Yes, what you two are saying makes sense so I should revise my statement. How about instead of what could happen we say what is likely to happen? A baby crawling down the road-likely to get hit by a car. An eight year old walking along the sidewalks on a route he knows-not likely to get hit by a car. My main point wasn’t really about that though. My point is that parents abusing their children and parents making bad judgment calls are different things and actions taken against them should be different. Take a two year old walking along the interstate for example. It is dangerous for sure but a parent abandoning their child along the side of the road vs a parent that didn’t realize their child knew how to unlock the door at night are not the same people although the result is the same. One is a person committing a crime who should have some sort of penalty and one is a person who made a bad judgment call and would benefit from buying a chain lock more than going to jail. Mr Tang may or may not have had good judgment at that particular moment, but everybody makes mistakes and every mistake is not criminal.

  111. James Pollock January 19, 2017 at 9:55 pm #

    “How about instead of what could happen we say what is likely to happen?”

    You mean like they do in California?
    The relevant law is California Penal Code 273.
    Here’s the first two parts of it:

    “(a) Any person who, under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits the person or health of that child to be injured, or willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health is endangered, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison for two, four, or six years.

    (b) Any person who, under circumstances or conditions other than those likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits the person or health of that child to be injured, or willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health may be endangered, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

    Note that Mr. Tang was convicted of a misdemeanor.

    Note that “likely” doesn’t necessarily mean “has more than 50/50 chance of happening”.
    Here is a real-life example. Suppose you go to the doctor, who tells you that you have a seizure disorder. At any given time, the odds of having a seizure are less than 50/50… not even 1 in a hundred. Should it be criminal if you were to, say, continue driving as you did before? After all, every time you get behind the wheel, the likelihood that you will have a seizure is low, and the likelihood that you’ll have a seizure and injure someone besides yourself is pretty low… when you drive, most of the people you encounter are wrapped in a protective cocoon of steel.
    (I said it was based on real-life, and it was. The reason I know about it es because this particular lady had a seizure, and ran down a schoolchild walking on the sidewalk, going home from the school bus stop. This was the second of the students at my daughter’s small magnet school (60 kids per year) to be killed before graduating high school. The first one died in a plane crash.)

    Most criminal convictions for child abuse and neglect involve a pattern of abuse, or of neglect, or both. You don’t see many cases where a single incident is all the prosecutors can find. They either have a pattern of past offenses, or, if the defendant is feeling generous, expresses in court a disinclination to change.

  112. Richard January 20, 2017 at 2:11 am #

    Mr. Tang, I don’t think the officers’ neighbors will respond as you expect. They are more likely to commiserate with them, and think that their job has exposed them to harassment by someone who seems unstable. In addition, such an action could be interpreted as a criminal attempt to intimidate or retaliate against a witness–depending on the specifics of your criminal case. Some of the other actions you reference could also be criminal violations, depending on the applicable statutes. I sincerely hope that you fully consider the potential consequences to you and your family before engaging in such acts.

  113. ChicagoDad January 20, 2017 at 8:05 am #

    Mike Tang, please stop. Please stop posting public comments about your pending appeal. It is not smart. Please stop posting angry rants on the internet that will be used against you in court the next time you are charged with something. Please stop planning things or doing things that will make you a target for more legal action–like sending angry letters to the neighbors of the police officers who “done you wrong”. Really, what are you thinking?

    Please stop, take a break, take a deep breath and get control of yourself. Your family needs you to step up and swallow some pride and find a way to resolve this. My father and his father were a lot like you. They were hard-headed, quick to anger, held grudges, and resented anyone telling them they were wrong. Their relationships with their kids were irreparably harmed because they couldn’t control it. If you want to be a part of your kids lives, if you want to have a relationship with your grandchildren some day, you should grow up, get your feelings under control, and find a way out of this mess. No one wants you to be a martyr except you.

  114. Puzzled January 20, 2017 at 8:36 am #

    My former judge said that he was once on a jury (why anyone would put a judge on a jury is beyond me) and they spent an hour discussing the defendants tie, so maybe they just didn’t like Mr. Tang’s tie.

    I’m starting to form an understanding as to why the jury made its decision, and I don’t think it was the tie.

  115. Donna January 20, 2017 at 9:19 am #

    “If the streets are so bad that a children, or ANYONE as the cop put it, can’t even walk safely outside, then I think the cops should probably be focusing their energy on arresting the dangerous kidnappers and drug dealers, rather than parents who let their kids walk outside.”

    No, they should be focusing the attention on BOTH, the people who make the streets unsafe and the parents who allow their children to walk outside in an incredibly unsafe area. But we all know that it is not that unsafe. THAT should have been your argument at trial, not everything else we’ve heard.

    “You keep using the baby analogy as if that’s something I’d do.”

    Wasn’t commenting to you at all this time. But the reason the baby keeps coming up is YOUR insistence that the curfew law gives a parent a god-given right to allow their child to roam alone until 10pm and that there is no way that a parent can ever be arrested for endangering a child by allowing the child to walk alone prior to that time. There is no where in your repeated statements of this completely wrong belief that allows for any level of consideration for the fact that there are many, many situations in which it would by anyone’s standards be child endangerment to allow a child to roam alone despite an early hour. The fact that you would not personally do this is as completely irrelevant as the fact that I wouldn’t do to my child what you did to yours. If it is per se legal, it is per se legal whether the child is 8 or 18 months.

    “I admit I was loud and defiant during trial. So what if the jury didn’t like me.”

    Because they were the ones making a decision as to whether you were a sane rational parent who made a reasonable, albeit different from what they would do, parenting choice rather than a raving lunatic who gives extreme punishments to his child for no rational reason. THAT was the choice in this case. You can couch it in free range qualities all you want, but it was never about walking or not walking. Your child has never been stopped for walking to and from school on the same route. It was the specific nature of this incident that gave rise to this case.

    “As we speak, I found out where the two officers live. I’m writing a letter to all his neighbors to let them know that this badge-wearing coward with nothing better to do will arrest anyone outside at anytime he feels is dangerous. Let’s see how the general public responds to him….”

    So I see that you are still hell-bent on making this situation as unnecessarily and ineffectively awful for you and your family as you possibly can.

  116. Donna January 20, 2017 at 9:25 am #

    “Most criminal convictions for child abuse and neglect involve a pattern of abuse, or of neglect, or both. You don’t see many cases where a single incident is all the prosecutors can find.”

    This is not even close to remotely true. The vast majority of the criminal child abuse/neglect cases that I have handled have been a single incident. In DFCS cases, we often see a pattern of behavior before removal – DFCS allows the children to remain in the home with services, but things continue and the child is eventually removed. But I can’t remember a criminal case that involved more than a single incident of abuse or neglect of the top of my head (it has been 10 years and thousands of cases so there are probably some that I am just not remembering).

  117. Jason January 20, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

    Yes, Mr. Tang, if you continue down this path, your child endangerment conviction will be a distant, pleasant memory.

  118. James Pollock January 20, 2017 at 8:31 pm #

    ” The vast majority of the criminal child abuse/neglect cases that I have handled have been a single incident.”

    How wonderful it must be to live in a place where the police catch all the child abusers the very first time they abuse a child.

  119. James Pollock January 20, 2017 at 8:34 pm #

    I think we should ALL join Mr. Tang in teaching these important lessons to his child:

    1) If you don’t like the rules, you don’t have to follow them.

    2) If you don’t get what you wanted or things don’t go your way, throw a big tantrum. If that doesn’t work, throw a bigger tantrum.

    3) Everything bad that happens to you is someone else’s fault.

  120. Mike Tang January 23, 2017 at 8:45 pm #

    @James Pollock

    I think you should live in a country where you would need to bend over and kiss every police officer’s ass so to not be put in jail for a “fictional crime”.

    An 8 year old who is phyiscally and mentally capable of knowing the way home, and has demonstrated it before, should be allowed to walk home. That is why I’m here. That is why Lenore supports me as part of her free-range kids movement.

    Your liberal interpretation of the law to allow cops to ban kids or “anyone,” as they say, from being outside at anytime, already proves you are not on the same wavelength as the people here. Why don’t you ban yourself from going outside, who knows, an angry ex-con might escape and try to hurt you.

    Most people here seem to agree that it might’ve not been a good parenting decision, but it was not criminal.

    You just stated yourself the law says it’s a crime if I willingly put him in danger.

    Willing–yes, all punishments are willing. Punishments do not happen by accident. I agree with that part.

    Danger–here’s the meat & potatoes of the argument. How dangerous is a suburban sidewalk at 7:45 pm at night, less than a mile away from home? Are sidewalks designed for walking? Or designed for cars to freely run over people. If it’s safe for kids to walk home from school, then why is it unsafe for kids to walk home part of the way from school, on the same route?!

    Clearly, no evidence of danger was presented.

    And the prosecutor’s strategy of pulling the gullible heartstrings of hyper-emotional saps like yourself seems to have worked.

    But an Oscar-worthy moving speech does not change law-abiding actions into criminal ones. I could say the same thing about “true” cases of kids who have been shot at school, in movie theaters, at the park, etc etc.
    Please stop wasting your time with me and convince the state legislature to ban kids in schools, theaters, and parks, and then you might be getting somewhere.

    Until then, the rest of us have to live our lives, which includes time outside the house. You’re more than welcome to live your life as a vegetable if you so desire, just don’t make everyone else agree with your lifestyle.

  121. Mike Tang January 23, 2017 at 8:52 pm #

    “So I see that you are still hell-bent on making this situation as unnecessarily and ineffectively awful for you and your family as you possibly can.”

    I don’t see why I have the be the one suffering, because the police can’t keep his own parenting style to himself and thinks his bad grants him the right to enforce his parenting style on other parents. If I’m going to suffer, they will suffer. Vigilante justice is better than none at all.

    @Jason

    If I don’t continue down this path, my children and grandchildren will have to live their lives in home confinement or house arrest, whatever it’s called these days. So if you don’t appreciate what I’m doing, please just stay home until you grow a pair.

  122. James Pollock January 23, 2017 at 9:27 pm #

    I think you should live in a country where you would need to bend over and kiss every police officer’s ass so to not be put in jail for a “fictional crime”””

    Fortunately, sir, it turns out that your opinions on things are not very accurate.

    “Your liberal interpretation of the law to allow cops to ban kids or “anyone,” as they say, from being outside at anytime, already proves you are not on the same wavelength as the people here.”

    Once again, you get my position grievously wrong. Why don’t you stop?

    “Why don’t you ban yourself from going outside, who knows, an angry ex-con might escape and try to hurt you.”
    Because, not being an 8-year-old child, I’m not afraid of you.

    “Most people here seem to agree that it might’ve not been a good parenting decision, but it was not criminal.”
    That’s the opinion I had, too… until you started talking. Now I’m not so sure. I’ve certainly not seen nor heard anything that would make me doubt the jury, which DID see something criminal.

    “You just stated yourself the law says it’s a crime if I willingly put him in danger.”
    You’re a twit. I stated myself that the law says “…under circumstances or conditions OTHER THAN those likely to produce great bodily harm or death…” (emphasis added).

    “Danger–here’s the meat & potatoes of the argument”
    Except, of course, that it is not. It’s irrelevant. Hire a lawyer, Mr. Tang, because maybe, just MAYBE, if you’re paying $200 an hour to someone to explain these things to you, you might listen to them and learn from them.

    “Clearly, no evidence of danger was presented. ”
    Because (duh) none was needed. (duh).

    “And the prosecutor’s strategy of pulling the gullible heartstrings of hyper-emotional saps like yourself”
    Why, if I had a nickel for every time someone has accused me of being hyper-emotional… well, I’d have five cents, total. Look, I get it, EVERYBODY gets it… you’re incapable of admitting you were wrong, or even the POSSIBILITY of such a thing.
    But if that lens that you’re looking at the world has things so distorted that you read me and get “hyper-emotional sap”… well, it’s no wonder you think that you’re building support for your position and helping yourself every time you express yourself. (Hint: You are not. Attacking the people who are telling you this does not change anything.)

    “Please stop wasting your time with me”
    It’s nice of you to confirm that you are, in fact, a waste of time.

    “Until then, the rest of us have to live our lives, which includes time outside the house.”
    Deep.

  123. Mike Tang January 24, 2017 at 5:18 am #

    @ James Pollock

    Yes, I read the law.

    “Any person who, under circumstances or conditions other than those likely to produce great bodily harm or death, ….willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health may be endangered, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

    Please tell me which part of a 1 mile (or 20 minute walk) on a pedestrian sidewalk, knowing the way home, is dangerous to an 8 year old’s person or health?

    So if I felt my son was not getting enough physical exercise and told him to go out and job around the block, that’s a misdemeanor. Give me a break. All PE teachers would be in jail by your Disneyland definition of danger! Oh wait, there are actually roller coasters at Disneyland! And kids have died on them before! OMG, all parents who let their kids go there should be in jail by your ill-equipped arguments. Why not just put everyone in jail as long as James Pollock’s will put his hard earned tax dollars where his mouth is.

    Prisoners would probably get more autonomy to do what they want if your interpretation of PC 273b is universally accepted. Good thing nobody is paying you to be a lawyer, because you’d be giving poor advice. Good thing you’re not on my jury because you’d be easily influenced by trivial things such as my demeanor or tie color rather than concentrating on the facts. Of course I’m not remorseful, why would I show remorse when I didn’t break the law?

    Just because 12 people in a courtroom feels like I did doesn’t mean I did. They just disagree with my parenting choices, much like yourself. Good thing I’m not easily discouraged by your feeble attempt to thwart me. My appeal has already been accepted and I know how to phrase my brief to show the state did not meet the “standards of proof” in my case.

    When I win, I will surely show you and others how it’s done, just in case you decide to belittle others who might try to defend themselves the same way.

  124. James Pollock January 24, 2017 at 9:08 am #

    “My appeal has already been accepted”
    Yeah. Everyone’s first appeal is accepted. You get one by right.

    “I know how to phrase my brief to show the state did not meet the “standards of proof” in my case.”
    Sure.

    “When I win, I will surely show you and others how it’s done”
    And when you lose, I’m sure it will be because the judges are corrupt, or stupid, or just didn’t understand what you were trying to tell them, not because of any sort of shortcoming on your part.

    “Please tell me which part of a 1 mile (or 20 minute walk) on a pedestrian sidewalk, knowing the way home, is dangerous to an 8 year old’s person or health?”
    How many times do you have to be told that “danger” isn’t required by the part of the statute you were convicted under before you’ll stop babbling about it?
    But, since you asked, my daughter went to middle school with a young man who was killed, walking on a pedestrian sidewalk, on his way home from school. So the danger is low, but not zero.
    http://koin.com/2013/05/10/driver-who-killed-teen-during-seizure-agrees-to-deal/

    In any case… if you’d like to address any of the things I’ve actually written, feel free. If you prefer to continue pretending I’ve claimed that your son was in terrible danger, well… it won’t exactly be a surprise.

  125. Mike Tang January 24, 2017 at 8:13 pm #

    @Chicago Dad

    “you should grow up, get your feelings under control, and find a way out of this mess.”

    I am growing up, manning-up. Fighting an unjust arrest followed by an unfair trial is doing my part to find a way out of this mess.

    If you’re suggesting that growing up = giving up and let the cops and courts get away with this, then you need to re-evaluate your definition of “growing up.” In my world, growing up is using what you learned in school and past experiences to apply them to problems.

    Sometimes that means going up against unpopular opinions to preserve American’s constitutional rights, just as slaves rose up and demanded their freedom.

    Accepting wrongs people have done you and sweeping them under the rug without an iota of retaliation or self pride is the definition of cowardice, and the opposite of growing up.

    If it bothers you that people are rising up to defy police injustice, then you should probably move to another country. Outrage against police wrongs have only grown and not abated, so if you want to live in a country where police can do what they want without any legal checks, then I suggest North Korea or Communist China as popular destinations.

  126. Mike Tang January 24, 2017 at 8:24 pm #

    @James Pollock

    “But, since you asked, my daughter went to middle school with a young man who was killed, walking on a pedestrian sidewalk, on his way home from school. So the danger is low, but not zero.”

    Thank you for proving my point for me, James. Even though I feel it’s very unfortunate what happened to your daughter’s classmate, notice the story says the driver was charged with a crime, not the parent of the young man who was struck. The driver took pills that made her a danger to pedestrians. Pedestrians walking on the sidewalk calmly following pedestrian rules are not in danger had the driver not made those choices.

    Now, imagine if the young man avoided being struck and made it home alive. Do you think it’s fair to charge the parent for “child endangerment” because of the near-miss? Do you think the parents had the power to predict the future and tell his son to walk home earlier to avoid the near-miss?

    My case is exactly the same. Instead of walking home from school, I dropped him at a point somewhere in the middle of home and school. If something happened to him, the driver should be charged. If nothing happened to him, no one should be charged. End of story.

  127. ChicagoDad January 24, 2017 at 9:18 pm #

    Mike Tang, thank you for your reply, but please stop posting about your case. You are determined to do this thing your own way, consequences be damned, so this will fall on deaf ears:

    You are fighting this injustice you’ve suffered like an incompetent, arrogant teenager. You think you know better than everyone else. You lash out irrationally. Anyone who disagrees with you in any way is eager for “North Korea” or “Communist China”. You say you must handle this all by yourself, and hiring an experienced professional to help you is a waste of money. You lack the courage and humility to acknowledge your own contribution to the situation you are in, and you lack the maturity to learn from it and chart a better course. Despite these profound disadvantages you are suffering under, you can still prevail. Just stop making rash, foolish decisions that will cause you more legal trouble. The consequences from this affect more than just you, so please grow up and take some responsibility.

    You handling your own case incompetently is much worse for the cause of freedom than acquiescence. Right now you are not even waging a real fight against injustice. You are being trounced and handing your “opponents” a victory. You are even blowing the only real chance you have at positive press with your ill-considered comments on this page.

    I hope you win your appeal. I really do. Your approach just seems to be the absolute best way to sabotage your chances. Good luck.

  128. James Pollock January 24, 2017 at 11:08 pm #

    ” Pedestrians walking on the sidewalk calmly following pedestrian rules are not in danger had the driver not made those choices.”

    Hmm. What did I say? Oh, yeah. I said ” If you prefer to continue pretending I’ve claimed that your son was in terrible danger, well… it won’t exactly be a surprise.”
    I was right. Not a surprise.

    “I hope you win your appeal. I really do”
    Not much chance of that. As seems to be the pattern, he’s decided to wander off on a tangent which leads nowhere. If he thought the district court judge had no patience for his ramblings, well… appeals courts have none. From his discussion here, he plans to attempt to argue that the state hasn’t met the burden of proof in proving that he did what he freely and repeatedly admits doing. There’s an off chance he’s learned that the curfew law is completely not relevant to his case, It’s still in the realm of possibility that he’ll figure out that the state doesn’t have to prove the kid was in serious danger to convict him under the statute. The court will cut him off about three sentences into his diatribe against the police and immediately every time he tries to go back to it.

    My fear is that someone will hear about this nut and actually believe that he is one of us and represents us. He’s not. He’s part “sovereign citizen”-flavor wacko, part “parental rights absolutist”-flavor wacko, and liberally sprinkled with some pretty strong paranoia and a ginormous martyr complex.

  129. James Pollock January 24, 2017 at 11:14 pm #

    “‘you should grow up, get your feelings under control, and find a way out of this mess.’
    I am growing up, manning-up.”

    No, sir. Growing up is about accepting responsibility for your actions, learning from your mistakes, and trying to do better in the future.. What you’re doing ( Blaming anyone and everyone else for your problems ) is rather the opposite.

    You’re acting like a child, and, worse yet, teaching your child that this is a way adults should act.

  130. Puzzled January 25, 2017 at 8:15 pm #

    My guess is that, like many pro se litigants, issues may not have been well preserved for appeal. Just a hunch.