“It looks like some bad parenting to me," says Greg Wilking of the Salt Lake City police department.
Sunday afternoon witnesses saw Paul Rapp and Richard Marsh dragging Marsh's four-year old child across the road using a leash.
According to a probable cause statement filed at the Salt Lake County jail: (Rapp) was dragging a 4-yar old child on his back by a leash… witnesses stated Rapp dragged the child from the northbound number 3 lane up onto the east side curb, across the east sidewalk and through approximately 20 feet of wood chips.”
“There were some abrasions to the child,” says Wilking.
Police say the leash is similar to one most parents use to keep sight of their child while in public.
But in this instance, police say it was child abuse.
According to the probable cause statement: “Rapp tied the leash which was connected to the child to a tree.”
“One of the people involved said they wanted to make sure the child wouldn't run out to the street,” says Wilking.
After tying up the child, witnesses saw the two men “load the pipe with marijuana and began smoking marijuana through the pipe.”
Neither Rapp or Marsh have any history of abusing children and a friend doubts the allegations witnesses tell police are even true.
“That guy (Marsh) is a really good guy,” says Tyson who didn’t offer his last name.
Marsh often stayed at Tyson’s home.
“He takes good care of his kids from what I've seen,” says the friend. “He does take good care of them. He goes out every day. He makes money no matter if he has a job or not. So it's ridiculous he got child endangerment charges."
Those who live in the neighborhood can't believe anyone would do such a thing to a child.
“I just think it's terrible,” says Paige Heath who lives near where the child was seen by witnesses. “I feel sad for the children who are in situations like that and wish there is more that we could do. I just feel really sad about that.”
Both men were booked into jail for child abuse and endangerment of a child as well as possession of drugs.
According to the probable cause statement Rapp confessed to abusing the child but denied using drugs. Police say the four-year old is now in custody of his mother but DCFS was notified.
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