A mother in Indianapolis is criminally charged after a neighbor allegedly witnessed her encouraging her son to fight another boy with a stick. Amy Meehan is neglect and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Her four children have been taken away from her during the resolution of the matter.
The two boys — ages 9 and 10 — used large stick to fight and Meehan admits that the encouraged her son to use a stick and even martial arts techniques that he knew. Yet, she insisted that it was self-defense.
Neighbor Clare Roberts called police after allegedly seeing her toss a stick to her son: “The mother was egging it on, telling her child to hit the other child, I tried to explain to the kids that’s not how you settle disputes.”
Yet, Meehan insists: “He had done hit him and had a stick and was coming after him.”
Interesting case. Under common law, there is not a duty to retreat and you can use a commensurate level of force to defend yourself. However, for the mother, the issue is a bit more complex. It is unclear why she did not intervene to stop the fight rather than escalate it. I am not sure that it warrants the removal of all of the children from the house, however, absent indications of abuse or danger.
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