How Facebook helped a child in jeopardy

Posted at 10:05 AM, May 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-19 21:24:15-04

The Facebook community helped rescue a child in jeopardy this week in Colorado.

A woman said she recorded a video of a child being abused by his mother. She said she had a friend report the abuse to police in late-April.

However, the woman told Denver7 that when she found out the boy was still with his mother, she decided to post the video to Facebook because she felt like police were not doing enough.

"In the play pen she was actually physically beating him with her first, her fist, and she was beating him," she described. "And then she grabbed the high chair, it sits on a seat a regular seat and she grabbed it and she was pounding it on him like over and over and over again."

She explained she didn't step in because she is disabled and has a hard time getting around. She was also fearful for her life and her 17-year-old son who can be seen in the video.

"I wish I had called 911 but me and him were terrified, we were scared," she said.

After the video was posted to Facebook, it was shared thousands of times, copied and uploaded to YouTube.

People shared the Facebook post with Denver 7, other media organizations and police.

Even though Aurora police are not involved in the case, they posted about it on Facebook:

"We recently had some concerned members of our community post on our page a video which is circulating around on social media that shows a child being abused. It was reported to us because the Facebook user who original posted the video listed Aurora as where she lives.

"APD began investigating this as soon as we were made aware of the video and discovered that this act of abuse did not take place in Aurora and that it occurred in Weld County.

"We notified authorities in Weld County and discovered that they were already aware of the existence of the video and that they have already started investigating this matter.

"We ask that if you have access to this video that you do not share it on social media to respect the privacy of the young victim in this case.

"Thank you to everyone who reached out to us to let us know about the existence of this video. Working together we all make a ?#‎SaferAurora?.

Denver7 called Denver police who said their staff investigated and determined the incident happened in Lochbuie.

When Denver7 called Lochbuie police Wednesday afternoon, the police chief responded by emailing saying, " The case has been forwarded to the district attorney's office for prosecution."

However, hours later, the mother was arrested and the child was taken into protective custody.


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