Boy Tries To Sell Teddy Bear For Food, Parents Arrested, Police Response Is Awesome

A 7-year-old boy was found alone in front of a drug store, trying to sell his teddy bear to buy food.

A 7-year-old boy was found alone in front of a drug store, trying to sell his teddy bear to buy food.

Boy Tries To Sell Teddy Bear For Food, Parents Arrested, Police Response Is Awesome

Franklin, Ohio – Franklin Police Officer Steve Dunham found a 7-year-old Franklin boy standing alone in front of a drug store, trying to sell his teddy bear for food. Both parents are now under arrest and are being charged on ten counts of child endangerment.

It all started when police received a phone call about a young child wandering around alone in downtown Franklin.

Officer Dunham was the officer who located the child with the teddy bear. “It broke my heart,” Dunham told WLWT. “He told me he was trying to sell his stuffed animal to get money for food because he hadn’t eaten in several days.”

The officer took the young boy to Subway to get some food, and then brought him back to Franklin Police Department.

“(We) said a little prayer and ate dinner together,” Dunham said.

Police investigated and discovered that the boy and his four brothers were living in a house full of garbage, cat urine, and liquor bottles. Officers arrested the parents, Tammy and Michael Bethel, on ten counts of child endangerment.

“(Police) treated them like their own kids, and that’s exactly what law enforcement does in situations like this. How would we want someone to treat our kids?” Franklin Police Chief Russ Whitman told WLWT. “Hopefully, these officers’ actions change these kids’ lives and maybe change the lives of the parents to become better parents.”

“I came back to check on him and he was hiding. He jumped out to scare me when I came back in the building; he got me real good,” Dunham said. “(We) would like to go home at the end of the day feeling like (we’ve) done something positive and, you know, had some kind of positive impact.”

The boy and his brothers, ages 11, 12, 15, and 17, have been removed from the home and are staying with family.

Police officers have to deal with heart-breaking situations every day. Hopefully Officer Steve Dunham’s brief contact with the family will forever have a positive impact on this child and his brothers.

  • ladywriter24

    great job officer. thank you just isn’t good enough. be safe out there. much love and respect from las vegas.

  • moveebuff

    This officer did what I would hope any kind hearted person would do for a child. It is amazing that the USA which claims is the greatest country in the world has so many people who live in poverty. Americans should demand that more is done for the low income people. There’s no excuse for abuse of children…

    • Jeremy Smith

      You’re an imbecile. There is plenty that the US does for low income families. This family would have had food stamps, Medicaid, welfare payments. If the house was in such bad condition with liquor bottles every where then that means the parents are unfit and were probably selling their food stamps for liquor. The real problem is people having kids who shouldn’t have them and mental illness. Many more parents should be having their children taken away. This isn’t an issue of giving more money to useless parasites.

      • Kristopher Schindler

        Exactly, there should be no reason why those kids are starving here in the United States, not with welfare and food stamp programs. (Yeah, they are not going to be eating steak and lobsters, but they are going to eat!) I agree with you and am willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that they sell their food stamps to buy liquor and smokes. I often find it ironic that when I hear from someone about how they don’t have any money to feed their kids they always seem to have a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other… just saying.

    • Patti Scozz

      The parents had a choice – to be decent parents or not. They chose not.
      There are too many poor parents who knock themselves out for their kids. There are also well-off parents who don’t give one sh!t.
      How DARE you make this claim. Money doesn’t make a family.

    • ImOpining

      This mother doesn’t work and claims she’s single on her FB. She’s probably living off of my hard earned taxes. Get her off the couch and put her to work. Easy, peasy. Also, if you are in the low income bracket, don’t have 4 kids until you’re in a middle income bracket.

  • Betts700

    I agree with you! Many of the parents use their cash for drugs, to go to the casinos, etc. They even sell their food stamps at the neighborhood store for booze. They don’t care if the kids eat or not. I am not referring to all people on welfare, obviously. But the ones that use the cash and sell their food stamps and don’t feed their kids…..need to have their children taken from them.

    • ImOpining

      Well we can tell that she wasn’t starving. Cleaning house would be good exercise. It would at least get her off the couch.

  • Al Nolf

    All the comments are good ones, the low-life parents should be held responsible for the lack of health and welfare of the children that they brought into the world. That said, My hat is off to the officers who did the right thing. They could have called child protective services and walked away. Instead they took the time to get personally involved and make a difference in the lives of the children. Well done guys, Thanks you.

  • MilkWasABadChoice

    Tammy and Michael Bethel? Is the same Michael Bethel, former police officer in CO? I remember a story about the couple being in a “cuckold” relationship and him getting fired from the police force for it, which then resulted in a lawsuit that awarded them $20,000. I guess we now know where the money went.

    • ImOpining

      I haven’t heard about him being a cop but this is in Ohio and her name is Tammi with an I. Even without OCD even just looking at those picture is gag inducing. She is trying to say it was just a day between cleaning. Who is going to buy that with those pics as proof. She reposted a youtube video from January on her fb page acting like she’s just the best mother in the world. Hard to clean house when you’re laying around on your government getting bettings doing meth and crack. youtube DOT com/watch?v=HcrWnXRRj60&feature=share