By Mary Lowers
James Roe, aka James Colson, 46, was arrested at his Baca Grande home Sunday, July 8 on charges of child abuse and taken to jail in Saguache where he sits without bail at this time. Roe is the father of a twelve-year-old boy who was the subject of an Amber Alert in late June. The boy was taken from the Baca Park by area resident David Freeman, 60, on June 23. He was arrested in Utah with the boy on June 25. Freeman faces federal charges for kidnapping and possibly other crimes. Colorado Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation were participants in the case.
According to Saguache County Deputy, Sam Olsen, his suspicions of possible child abuse were raised in his initial interview with James Roe about the disappearance of his son on June 23. In this interview James said, “My son is a carbon copy of myself and that he has his issues but overall is a good kid.” He said he does spank his son occasionally, “but not excessively.” James Roe’s statements in this interview were confirmed to be accurate in a video/audio recording.
After his son was discovered, Deputy Houston of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) took photos of the youth at the time of his admittance to Garfield Memorial Hospital in Panguitch, Utah on June 25. In his report Deputy Huston said, “There were numerous bruises on the boy’s (name withheld) leg that appear to be consistent with being struck by a belt or similar object, three or four days prior” when he was still at home. While in Utah the boy told law enforcement that, “he did not want to live with his father” as he “beat the shit out of me.” The boy said he had been spanked with a belt just before he left for Utah with Freeman. He said spanking with a belt was the standard form of discipline from his father.
Deputy Olsen also reviewed a report from Saguache County Undersheriff McCloskey from June 30 regarding possible physical abuse by James Roe of his twelve-year-old son. Records from the medical examination of the boy at Garfield Memorial Hospital in Utah say, “the boy told examiners that he felt very unsafe with his father and that his father is physically abusing him.” All reports Olson looked at made him “fear there could be substantial danger to the physical health and safety of the child.”
During the course of this investigation according to Deputy Olson, James Roe stated he did spank his son on multiple occasions with a belt. James girlfriend Whitney Miller stated she witnessed Mr. Roe spanking (the boy) and she “believed he was doing it too often and seemed to get pleasure out of it.” The youth is being cared for in a safe location. The Eagle will continue covering this story.