A man is accused of holding his 4-year-old daughter's head under the water in the kitchen sink at their Yelm home Sunday night because she would not recite the alphabet, according to police and court papers.
The Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed a charge of second-degree assault of a child against Joshua Ryan Tabor, 27, on Tuesday. His arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 16.
According to court records:
Yelm police responded to a disturbance Sunday night after Tabor’s girlfriend reported that Tabor, a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier, “was irate, intoxicated and walking around the neighborhood with his Kevlar helmet threatening to break windows.”
Tabor’s girlfriend told Yelm police that Tabor beats his 4-year-old daughter and that the child’s back was covered in bruises. The girlfriend reported that the 4-year-old had locked herself in a closet because she was afraid of her father.
The girlfriend also reported that when the child wets herself, Tabor “makes her sit in the urine-soaked clothes” until he gives her permission to change.
The girl spoke to a Yelm officer, and he observed that she “had severe bruising on her entire back,” along with scratch marks and bruising on her neck, throat, chin, arms, legs and buttocks.
She “was asked how she got the bruises and she replied ‘Daddy did it.’”
Asked how or why it happened, the child would not reply, then said, “I don’t know why he did it.”
Tabor spoke to a Yelm police officer and said that he and his girlfriend had “held her down on the counter and submerged her head into the water three or four times until the water came around her forehead and jawline.” He said that she was face-up when her head was in the water. He added that they gave this punishment for the 4-year-old “refusing to say her letters.”
Tabor told police that his daughter is afraid of water “and was squirming around trying to get away from the water. Joshua did not act as though he felt there was anything wrong with this form of punishment.”
Yelm Police Sgt. Rob Carlson confirmed Tuesday that the alleged abuse occurred because the child would not recite her ABCs, according to police reports.
The police investigation has revealed that Tabor has had “serious anger issues in the past” and “has taken anger management classes.”
Tabor was released Monday from the Thurston County Jail after posting $10,000 bail. He is restricted to base at Lewis-McChord as a condition of his release.
He also cannot have contact with his girlfriend or children.
The child has been taken into custody by Child Protective Services, according to a police report.
Carlson said the child’s biological mother lives in Kansas. Yelm police have referred a potential criminal charge against Tabor’s girlfriend to the Thurston County prosecuting attorney, but she was not arrested Sunday night, Carlson said.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465