Would You Turn Your Child in to the Police?

This past weekend a 44 year-old jogger from New Canaan was struck by an SUV driven by a 16 year-old girl and died.


This past weekend a 44 year-old jogger from New Canaan was What a sad way to kick off National Distracted Driver’s Awareness month. My heart grieves for the family who was waiting for their husband and father to come home from just an ordinary run on a typical Saturday morning. I also can imagine what the 16 year-old and her family are going through and how this incident will change their lives forever. The only shining light that I can find in this tragedy is that clearly this young girl’s parents must have instilled strong morals and ethics in her because, unlike other cases we have read about, this girl didn’t flee the scene. She stayed and did the right thing, called 911 and accepted responsibility. Not an easy thing for an adult to do let alone a scared teen.

Several weeks ago a Utah man was watching the evening news with his son when he realized that it was his son in some surveillance footage ransacking an electronics stores. The story went on to say that over $65,000 in merchandise had been stolen. The dad had a tough choice – call the police on his son or pretend he didn’t realize it was his own son who was the thief. The dad persuaded the son that he needed to turn himself in and they drove to the police station together.

It’s easy for us to teach our children to “do the right thing” and “accept responsibility” but what happens when this goes from theoretical to practical? Would you tell your child to admit to a crime let alone turn her in yourself? It’s a tough question and I’m certainly not going to say I’m sure what I would do. The need to protect your child is great but teaching them accountability is crucial. Both decisions can have devastating consequences.

Here in Wilton we’ve been dealing with this issue for several years. While I never met Nick Parisot nor his family, I certainly know the story as do many Wilton residents. For those of you who don’t, Nick Parisot was a 13 year-old boy who died from neck trauma when he was riding his motor bike and ran into a rope that had been intentionally strung across the path. While no one has ever been arrested in the case, police confirm they have a suspect and Nick’s family has filed a civil suit against another family and their minor child. And, according to Nick’s mother there are several other minors who have information but their parents have never allowed them to come forward and speak. This happened almost four years ago and still no one is talking. This isn’t a case of your kids having a party at someone’s home who’s away on vacation and deciding whether they should fess up (as was recently discussed on The Patch) This is a child who was killed and a family who desperately needs closure.

Whether it’s the family of the suspect or the parents of one of the other kids who has information, I would assume they go through their own agony every day. Yes, they’re our children but, as a parent who’s lost a child (to SIDS), more than anything we need closure and we have a right to it.

For the 16 year-old girl who stopped on Saturday, she and her family will never be the same. But, at least she’ll be able to sleep at night knowing the she did the right thing.

So what would your teen do? And what would you do?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Joan March 28, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Well said, Michele. I certainly wouldn't want to censor free speech. My point is that the article contains sensitive information that I feel is inappropriate to utilize for Alison's career objectives. This isn't news and many found her casual use of families personal tragedies offensive. You are right, I shouldn't read it if I don't like it, so I won't.
Riachard Harder March 29, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Alison I think your article really makes one sit back and think. This young lady certainly did do the right thing. Childen can be expected to make the wrong decision, and shoul be commended for making the right decision in a horrible situation. It is one thing for a child to make a childish decision, and quite another for a parent to make a childish decision and teach the child that the wrong is right. I can't imagin the feeling the boys must carry with them, maybe forever. Parents influencing the boys hush it up could cause horrific emotional agony that could surface, who knows when. They should receive counseling. We all know they did not do this with intent to hurt much less kill thier friend .
dr. Abraham Goldberg March 29, 2012 at 01:06 AM
@richard, i agree with your thoughts. I do feel that the wpd should have done a better job in their investagation and hold the parent responsible if if their child was part of the death of another child. i also believe in karma. What goes around comes around, usually in spades.
Jlo March 29, 2012 at 04:30 AM
Richard I don't understand your post...they did not mean to hurt or kill Parisot? What exactly did they intend to do by stringing a cable across his bike path?
Elyse April 03, 2012 at 06:06 PM
The sad thing is that if this were a near perfect world, an article like this would never have been written. But the world is hardly perfect. While I do not think any teenager should be driving an SUV at all (unlike a car that a person struck might slide over the hood, an SUV delivers blunt force trauma), the girl in question obviously was raised with some ethics. As to why she struck the jogger (changing radio? texting? talking on cell? watching something off to side?) something may eventually come out in the press. As to the Parisot case, little is known as to why it happened. When I first heard about what did happen, all I could think of was somebody watched too much TV in which stringing wires/ropes across paths to knock people off their motorcycles is done. Of course, in entertainment it's stuntmen and no one ever dies. The only way we will know what happened if it the person(s) involved come foreward. Hiding this truth will continue to hurt the deceased parents' as well as (if this was unintentional) the person who did it. If your child does something wrong and needs to face the law, the parents should do the hard thing and bring them in. Nothing good comes out of hiding stuff like this. As to the parents of those kids at the house party, one would hope that since many it seems did not come forth, that they read the riot act to their kids & took away their cellphones, etc. - a punishment of some kind.


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