Saturday, September 08, 2012

Sailboat rescue on news

The top local news story last evening was this:
(CNN) -- Authorities say they have rescued two young children who were allegedly abducted from their California home and taken by their father on a stolen sailboat.

The stolen sailboat was spotted sailing off the Monterey Peninsula on Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The father, Christopher Maffei, was taken into custody, the Coast Guard said.

Earlier Friday, authorities said the 41-foot sailboat, dubbed the Unleashed, was spotted between Pillar Point and Monterey and was being followed by Coast Guard aircraft.

Maffei, 43, is accused of abducting his 3-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son from the South San Francisco home of the mother, Jennifer Hipon, on Tuesday, according to police.

The children's parents had been involved in some type of custody situation, according to South San Francisco Police Department Sgt. Bruce McPhillips, but he said he did know the specifics. Maffei did not live with the children.
It should not be a crime for a dad to take his kids out on a boat. I don't know the full story here, but the news media treated this as if the police and Coast Guard had rescued the kids from a life-threatening stranger abduction. They were just sailing with their dad, against the wishes of a bitter and possessive ex-wife.

Update: A reader questions whether there is a custody dispute that is part of this story. Of course there is. A guy going for an unauthorized joy ride on a yacht does not make national news. This even make a UK story:
She told reporters that she was at a courthouse filing custody documents on Tuesday when Maffei went to her house and took the children from her elderly mother.
MSNBC reports:
The children's mother, Jennifer Hipon, was anxiously awaiting her childrens' safe return at her South San Francisco home. She said that Maffei, whom she had dated in the past, had recently returned from Thailand, and had wanted to see his children.

She agreed, but added that he had seemed increasingly anxious to be near the kids. His zeal to see the children scared her enough to seek a restraining order against him, she told NBC Bay Area on Friday. She was at the courthouse in Redwood City on Tuesday seeking that order, when she said Maffei went to her home on James Court about 3 p.m.
So this whole story started when the dad wanted to see his kids, and the mom gave him the run-around. He went to see his kids while the mom ran off to court to get an order preventing him from seeing his kids.

The core problem is family courts that issue orders preventing dads from seeing their kids. If the mom understood in the first place that she had a legal obligation to let the dad see their kids, then none of this would have happened.

Update: One of the San Fran TV stations had this story again leading the 11pm news. They treated it as a huge rescue story. There was no rescue. The kids were safe with their dad on a yacht, even if the dad had not done the paperwork for renting the yacht.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

are you illiterate or just cherry picking the facts: he stole the yacht. That in and of itself is a crime. Whether or not there's a custody dispute is another story and not mentioned in the story.

And of course you're going to get corrections from anonymous people, you yourself are technically anoymous w/your "nom de internet".

George said...

Yes, he may not have had permission to use the yacht. But child custody is at the core of this story, and I added comments to show that.

Anonymous said...

you spun the story as is your MO.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous

You claim that George "(you) spun the story as is your MO."

I would think that the preponderance of the evidence is very likely to BE your MO. Why else are you so bitter?

George said...

Yes, I commented on the child custody aspect of this story. If you are more interested in the yacht security, you might be reading the wrong blog.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. "Yes, he may have not had permission to use the yacht."

You've spun stealing into "not having permission to use" ? Do you really expect people to react to your version of the events without laughing ?

Sure, it's quite possbile that the mother has been unfair to the dad, and maybe the courts have, or will be unfair to the dad, but in this case, it's undisputable that the dad STOLE the yacht whether it was to take them out on a "joy ride" or whatever.

"joyride" That's what a defense attorney uses to describe what a teenager did when he's seeking leniency from a judge when the defendant stole a car.

George, how would you feel if your ex stole a yacht and took you kids out on it for a "joyride" ?

George said...

No, it is just an allegation that the dad stole the yacht. You have just heard one side of the story.

The kids were not in any danger at any time.

Anonymous said...

What do you want to bet that he's rightfully convicted of stealing the yacht ?

George said...

The authorities will want to make an example out of him. I predict that they will present him with a long list of charges, including kidnapping, so that he is threatened with life in prison unless he agrees to a plea bargain. So he will have to take whatever plea bargain they offer. There will be no trial on the merits of the case.

Anonymous said...

OK, what do you want to bet that the yacht he allegedly, stole was not his own, nor even someone's that he knows ?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of illiterate, cherry picking the facts, lying and an uncommon familiarity with crime, what do you want to bet that the Anonymous of "what do you want to bet that the yacht he allegedly, stole was not his own, nor even someone's that he knows?" is George's misandristic femmeroid, aka his ex-wife?

Anonymous said...

Mz "Anonymous" aka misandristic eX,

Why do you seem to have such a personal interest the the details of this case? You seem to have more interest in ad hominem attacks on George than the child custody aspects of the case. And, why do you think that it is easy to spot that you are a woman?

-----
FEMINIZM -- a belief system based upon lies - the glass ceiling, Super Bowl Sunday, the "Rule of Thumb," VAWA, all men are evil; Creators of: political correctness, turkey-baster families. Defenders of: victimology, affirmative action, double standards, rights without responsibility, Goals 2000, political correctness, witchcraft, illegitimacy, abortions and false allegations. Destroyers of: the family, religion, white heterosexual males, the military, Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Anonymous said...

So we're talking about attacks here ?

Look, maybe you think it's alright for a dad to decide to steal a boat, and take his kids out on the stolen boat for a joyride.

If we're to learn that it ends up being his own boat or he actually borrowed it, ok, I understand, but I really doubt that that's the case, don't you ?

btw..."speaking of lying" ? who's lying and about what ?

Anonymous said...

Poor baby.

Would you like some cheese to go with that whine?

Anonymous said...

Can't you come up with anything better than that ?

Anonymous said...

dialog and blogs like this are why there won't be any serious chance of reform in family law for some time. Infantile, uninformed, igonorant, and hateful. Both so-called "wings", which really don't exist, it's just the people against the state. I only drop into these blogs now just to reinforce my belief there's no hope.

Anonymous said...


Someone has a long list of things that they're whining about.

FEMINIZM -- a belief system based upon lies - the glass ceiling, Super Bowl Sunday, the "Rule of Thumb," VAWA, all men are evil; Creators of: political correctness, turkey-baster families. Defenders of: victimology, affirmative action, double standards, rights without responsibility, Goals 2000, political correctness, witchcraft, illegitimacy, abortions and false allegations. Destroyers of: the family, religion, white heterosexual males, the military, Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

George said...

I do agree that this story gives grounds for pessimism that the public will recognize that a dad has a right to see his kids.

Anonymous said...


UPDATE..

It also reported the following...
It was believed that Maffei might try to take his children outside of the United States after it was revealed that the man had quit his job, closed his bank accounts, got rid of his assets, and sold his home, ABC station KGO-TV in San Francisco reported.


"even if he did not do the paperwork to rent the boat"

Boy, he sure managed to do alot of other paperwork besides that to rent the boat, huh ?

He stole the boat.

George said...

Okay, he stole the boat.

Christopher Maffei said...

I'm the father that took my kids; do you have any questions?

Christopher Maffei said...

My kids were being abused, and my son was all most killed in the mothers care.

I am the father that try to save my kids.