A Pocatello father accused of telling his 6-year old boy to walk home in freezing temperatures speaks out defending his actions. Since Local News 8's first report of his arrest, our newsroom has gotten phone calls, emails and comments on our website.
The father is facing injury to a child charges. Many of you have asked could there be more to this story? It turns out there is.
On Tuesday afternoon, Scott Richardson went to pick up his 6-year old son
from Washington Elementary. After waiting, Richardson says his son didn't walk out the door he normally does. He went inside only to be told his son was already gone.
"I came running home to try and catch him on the way. By the time I got home, they called me and notified me he had returned to the school so I went ahead and told them to send him down and let him walk home to me. I went out and walked down the street and waited for him on the corner and he never showed up," said Scott Richardson, charged with injury to a child.
Captain Terry Felsman with the Pocatello Police Department says while the boy was trying to walk the four or five blocks home, he got lost and that's why he went back to school. When the school called Richardson they got a different story.
"They called father and asked father to come and get him and father said no let him walk home," said Captain Felsman.
Genevieve: "I have a captain telling me that you said to the school I'm not going to pick up him tell him to walk home."
"That is not true and that is where the controversy lies I believe. It's said that I refuse to pick him up and I spoke with the secretary at the school today and she mentioned the fact that I was there," said Richardson.
"We don't have any problem with kids walking home from school but usually when kids walk home from school they have hats and gloves and they are dressed for that weather.
This young boy was not dressed for six and seven below zero weather," said Felsman.
Felsman says the boy wasn't wearing any socks, gloves or a hat.
"I didn't know he didn't have a hat or anything. He usually does but he is quite a rebellious child as they are all are six," said Richardson.
After the school talked to Richardson, Felsman says they gave the 6-year old a note and told him to call when he got home. Why didn't someone at the school call another family member or call police right away? School district officials say they can't comment.
When the school didn't get a call nearly a half hour later, they called officers. It turns out the boy calls two different places home, Richardson's and his grandfather's house. After leaving the school a second time, the boy tried to walk to his grandfather's home. He was found nearly 16 blocks away from the school.
"He was picked up by someone that was passing by and they were able to get him from there to his grandpa's home," said Felsman.
"He decided he wanted to go elsewhere and you can't control a kid's decision if they make that decision. I just tried to pick my kid up from school and now I'm being accused of injury to a child. I don't think that is appropriate. I think the whole thing is rather absurd," said Richardson.
When the 6-year old was finally found, Felsman says his grandfather says he was very cold but ok. He didn't suffer from any injuries despite not being dressed for the frigid temperatures.