If You See Something – Run and Hide!

In an effort to combat crime in urban areas of Hyannis, the slogan “If you see something, say something” was promoted by cops and town officials.

After 25 years living in Barnstable, I’ve come to the conclusion that if you see something, it’s best not to say anything.  You’re safer if you look away, and in some cases, run away.

About 15 minutes ago, our infamously violent neighbors just had a Sunday morning blowout that spilled into their front yard.  My son came running in the house and told me the Howells were “screaming F-bombs” in their front yard.  As I walked to the door I heard Ron Howell screaming “I’m gonna break your f-ing neck!”, and saw kids running away from him into the yard in their pajamas. 

I told my son to stay inside until the storm passed.  Finally Ron Howell ran out to his car and peeled out of his driveway.  He probably feared someone would call the cops, but no one did.  Mountain Ash Road residents know better.  Calling the cops could easily result in a trip to court for harassment.  Been there, done that.

If you didn’t see it, you may want to read the story of a Barnstable resident who faced similar experiences with local cops, judges and DSS.  Her alleged experience makes ours look like a bad hair day:

http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120129/NEWS/201290335/-1/NEWS11

The article doesn’t say why the mother went to a Sandwich police detective when she lives in Barnstable, but it appears that she no longer had the ear of the Barnstable police.  Barnstable cops gossip worse than any sewing circle of frilly young debutants, and if they don’t believe you – they make sure no one will.

When I first told Patrolman Donovan of the BPD of the neglect and abuse going on with the kids next door, he told me that such things “don’t happen in neighborhoods like this”.  He pointed to the “nice lawns” and “new cars”.  What a dumbass.  I assumed he was accompanied by then Lt. Paul MacDonald because he was too dangerously ignorant to be out riding by himself.

Because stories were being manufactured by the hour to combat our complaints, I purchased video cameras to show my dogs weren’t running loose, my  husband wasn’t showing up with 20 guys for a fight, and I wasn’t “planting syringes in the driveway”.  These were all allegations made by the neighbors before the cameras went up.  MacDonald told me I would only “make matters worse” with the cameras.  Now MacDonald is chief of police, and has started putting cameras around town to combat street crime. 

FYI – Barnstable Police have also started using impressive high tech license plate cameras that run plates at warp speed, and notify the cops in the cruiser of outstanding warrants, expired registration, etc… belonging to owner of the plate/car.  It’s kinda big brotherish, but it helped local po-po catch some real bad guys recently.

I felt that simply because the cops didn’t believe what was going on, surely the DSS or a court magistrate would get it.  They didn’t.  The police and neighbors convinced officials on every level that we’d made up the story of abuse and neglect of the young Howell children in order to exact revenge on their parents for putting up a shed. 

Sadly,  it is not uncommon for individuals scorned to make false allegations of sexual abuse as leverage in a dispute.  Probate court judges are naturally skeptical of such claims, especially in highly contested custody situations. 

Cape Cod Times reporter Patrick Cassidy’s story of a local Brazilian mother’s account of the sexual abuse her seven year old son has allegedly endured at the hands of his father rang some familiar bells for my husband & I this morning.

It appears that the mother’s problem, at some point, became one of credibility with Judge Robert Scandurra, of Barnstable Family and Probate Court.  Scandurra has a great deal of experience with custody issues, and knowing how rough those waters can get, his skepticism is warranted. 

Probate judges have broad powers, and they’re supposed to use them to act “in the best interest of the child”.  Of course anyone who’s ever been in a custody battle in Massachusetts will tell you that it’s all a crap shoot, and depends on the judge.  

I know of an occasion where Scandurra picked up the telephone to check on the veracity of a father’s financial statement.  He also threatened the mother in that case with jail if she refused to comply with visitation orders, but when she did just that, the court simply wrote new orders.  That happened about a dozen times until the kids finally turned 18 in that case. 

Following his interview with the Times reporter, Scandurra wrote an e-mail saying that once he makes a decision in a case, he “rarely mulls it over again”. He decided, for reasons not clearly stated, that the mother was not telling the truth about the sexual molestation of her son.  It happens, but  in this case the judge had more than enough red flags to err on the side of caution in the best interests of the child. He didn’t.  He stuck with his original feeling that the mother wasn’t credible, despite mounting evidence of sexual abuse. 

Another perplexing issue in this case is the weightlessness Scandurra gave to the Guardian ad Litem’s report.  He faulted the G-A-L for not interviewing the supervisor of the father’s visits with his son. 

I’ve seen some flakey G-A-L reports, but this one looked into several complaints of the very serious allegations of  BABY RAPING, and determined they were likely credible.  Scandurra faulted the report for not including an interview with the supervisor, but given the seriousness of the allegations, could he not have picked up the phone, as he’s done before, and called the supervisor himself?

It’s hard for me to imagine anyone, especially a parent, inflicting that type of harm on a child.  As a mother, it’s impossible for me to understand how/why another mother would keep returning her own young son to the hands of a father whom she knows is raping him.  Scandurra could threaten me with hanging, and I’d die trying to find a way to keep my kid from that kind of harm.

Given that the mother is from a different culture, she may have felt she had no choice but to return the child over and over to his baby raping daddy, but I still don’t understand how she could. 

Such stories are disturbing and should be told, but should they be told while the case is ongoing, in the newspaper?  The photo of the mother and her son walking away from the camera is enough for me to pick them out of a crowd on Main Street, Hyannis, which appears to be where the shot was taken.

Child abuse and neglect are pervasive social problems.  Hell, it’s going on right next door.  I could always move, but chances are I’d land right next door to another mess.

If the mother in this case is telling the truth, then perhaps the Cape Cod Times did something truly heroic.  Pressure is now on Judge Scandurra to “mull over” the mother’s story again. 

The boy in this case is now 7 years old.  The District Attorney did not prosecute earlier because the boy was only five, and the feeling was that he was too young to testify.  My son was 8 years old when he testified against his bullies next door, and the judge found him to have “the highest credibility”.  By the time this matter would get to trial, perhaps the poor child in this case will have turned 8, which is certainly old enough to speak to a judge/jury.

From my own experience I have to say that if I had to do it all over again, I’d have put up the fences, less conspicuous cameras, and simply kept my son away from the  never ending nightmare that lives next door.  I can’t help but wonder, if the story in the paper is true, how that mother will feel in five or ten years.  Will she wish she simply flew back to Brazil with her son and disappeared into the countryside?

If you see something, is it really worth it to say something?

I’m afraid in Barnstable it’s just too risky.  Talk to me in five or ten years.

23 responses to “If You See Something – Run and Hide!

  1. Scandurra needs to go. He was never qualified to be a family court judge. He cheated on his wife with the secretary, and divorced her with 4 kids. He was a real estate attorney who didn’t know jack about family law. I hope this case forces him off the bench.

    • Dorothy Jean

      My friend works downstairs in the court, she knows the secretary and said it wasn’t her. It was a different woman, and after they started up Scandurra even got her a job at the court. I guess she left at some point and now selling wine. Must be why he likes the drunks.
      So he is a divorce judge who cheats on his wife, lets his secretary take blame, gets his honey a job on our tax dollars and judges other people with a straight face? More bad doings at that court then just what the public sees. My friend says it will all go away and he will keep the job.

  2. It’s all very depressing. Most folks I spoke to said they didn’t read the front page story yesterday because it was “just too awful”.

    Those who did read the story feel that Scandurra messed up in that case, on multiple occasions, and he’s going to suffer some consequences.

    That will be of little comfort to the victim.

  3. Maybe there’ll be a few less victims!

  4. I am a single parent and have been since I was divorced when my daughter was a few months old. Her father has paid minimal child support by getting paid under the table and he chose at her birth not to be a part of her life in any way. Since her father was much better off financially than I am, I went to court to ask a judge for help. I have raised my daughter all alone and supported her 95% financially and 100% physically and emotionally since her birth 17 years ago. He has never paid for one night’s lodging nor has he ever transported her anywhere. I could not even believe the words I heard coming out of Robert Scandurra’s mouth at me: “Why do you want more money from him when you earn more than he does?” My ex husband owns 2 homes, 2 cottages and a lot of land all mortgage free. He has money in the bank so doesn’t have to work much and the work that he does he gets paid under the table for so it is not reported to the IRS. I have had to work three jobs sometimes just to survive. The judge should have been able to see this from the records. I felt absolutely abused by this judge’s tone putting me down like I was nothing when I am the one who raised this child alone! I filed a complaint against him and got nowhere and was not surprised at all when I read the article in the Cape Cod Times yesterday.

  5. Prayers to the little boy caught up in the injustice of Judge Robert Scandurra’s chauvinistic court room.

  6. I’ve seen Scandurra blindly favor an abusive, alcoholic mother, so I don’t think it’s a matter of chauvinism.

    The follow-up e-mail to the paper (which was stupid on his part), says it all:
    Once he makes up his mind, he doesn’t change it.

    I know a guy who appeared 43 times to get visitation orders enforced. Scandurra and other judges simply handed off contempt charges to mediators, who always favored the mother. Today that mother is a homeless alcoholic raising another child, and being investigated by social services.

    It seems folks don’t realize that once you get divorce orders, they’re not likely to change substantially unless circumstances change. If you have trouble proving a change of circumstances, you might hire a private investigator.

    Another factor in this and other stories is that judges get real worn down with people who represent themselves (pro-se litigants). It’s the old “Oh, you again” scenario.

    The mother in this case had a language barrier, and kept showing up unrepresented. Something tells me she would have had better luck with another judge. The problem is, once a judge is assigned to a case in family court, it tends to stay with him/her. Another solution to this mother’s problem would have been to move off Cape and ask for a change of venue.
    Another judge may have had better instincts.

    It’s a terribly, terribly sad story.

  7. Oh, maybe he is just prejudiced against decent, hard-working mothers and prefers the alcoholics. Whatever, no judge should be allowed to talk to a woman like he talked to me. He should be disbarred, maybe too many head injuries from wrestling.

  8. I know you’re angry, Jayne, and I don’t mean to discount your problem.

    We Americans believe in “truth & justice”, but those are often hard to find in our legal system.

    Since authorities from the Brazilian government are now involved, Scandurra’s actions in this case are going to go under a microscope. He is in trouble, that’s for sure.

    From what I’ve seen, judges like Scandurra destroy families. Believe it or not, I’ve seen worse family court judges than him.

    The whole court system in Massachusetts needs to be overhauled – no small task when so many of the players have lifetime appointments.

    I also hope Scandurra is desbarred, not for being rude, but for being negligent, as I believe he was in the case of the child in the story. However you must know that the wheels of justice grind very slowly.

  9. I’m not sure you’ll want to hear this, but I was in Botello’s yesterday, and heard Ron Howell telling a good customer that he “lives next door to a drug addict and an alcoholic”. I almost said something, but I like shopping there. Too bad a punk like that just stinks up the place………..

  10. No worries, Tommy. He’s just pointing the finger back, spreading baseless crap, as usual.

    My credibility won’t mean beans when his kids start testifying against him.

  11. judGE SCANDURRA NEEDS TO GO, HE IS TOTALOLY UNFAIR TO WOMEN IN GENERAL; AND NOT GIVE A STRUGGLING A CHACE TO EVEN SEE HIS DAUGHTER. I DON’T THINK HE Would like HIS CHILDREN PULLED AWAY FROM OR MAYBE HE WOULD…he’s demonic— get him out of the courtroom for all our children sake…. caroly stasz

  12. My mother passed away after sacrificing everything to help me provide for my daughter because pigs like Scandurra and Terry deemed it 95% my responsibility to support and raise my daughter and let my ex who has plenty of assets off free as a bird. I can only hope karma will follow these two clowns. I watched my mother take her last breath a few days ago, aware of what she sacrificed while the dad skipped away carefree aided and abetted by Scandurra and Terry.

  13. I left my abusive husband finally after he assaulted our daughter age 2. It was very scary leaving in the night with 2 toddlers and no where to go. But i never imagined the hell that would come in probate court before scandurra. Many similarities have been mentioned but on top of that he gave my x joint physical custody in spite of dcf supporting supervised visits and batterers intervention along with police reports and past abuse with child and wife of first marriage. My children had never been alone w him. To this day he controls my life by using the children and i wonder why i left? All the “support” from dv specialists social workers etc was useless. I followed the court orders diligently was living in a safe house and the judge gave him all assets in divorce and physical custody because he has family home. Lie after lie was exposed throughout our trial including his fake financial statement etc. He has been rewarded for being a criminal and for damaging our precious children for life.

  14. Stuart James

    Scandurra is pure evil. Thank goodness his former wife and children don’t have to be negatively impacted by this incompetent narcissist anymore on a daily basis.

    What a joke, a real estate attorney taking the bench as a Family and Probate judge. That’s like a person with lung cancer being medically supervised by a dermatologist instead of an oncologist. The result, unnecessary suffering and pain on the road to the inevitable outcome of death… Obviously in this case as well, the loving family and friends are harmed by the ego of the doctor and judge.

    My recommendation is to follow the money with Scandurra. I bet he is receiving attractive kickbacks and payments from those that go before him.

  15. hogwash

    • Don’t I know it. I called on a man beating a woman in Hyannis, right on the street. I waited and waited. By the time the police came, the man had taken off and the woman and gone running in another direction, all bloodied and beaten.

      I had a court case going on years ago. I was stopped at the Barnstable highway bus stop/Burger Kind parking lot by the police. They said I went through a red light turning in from the street. FYI, I later won the case w a magistrate as that light doesn’t give you enough time from the second the light goes yellow to red to complete the turn.

      The police held me there for 1 1/2 hours and would not let me leave. Only when a friend happened to see me and come over did they let me go. They must be friends/relatives with the opposing side of the court case….why else were they harassing me? Corrupt!!!!

  16. Judge Robert Scandurra is an evil, renegade Individual with the title “Judge” he received not by merit, but because he was the only “Lawyer” who wanted the job at the time. If you don’t know the law and how to preserve and protect it, even if you went to law school and worked in one of the most basic areas of law, Real Estate; take an easy, pensioned, great benefits, salary job as a Judge. This guarantees Scandurra a decent living and retirement and the ability to hide behind the ills he “renders”, by a self-protecting Judicial System.

    “Judge” Robert Scandurra did exactly this, as he couldn’t make it on his own since he was an unethical and incompetent attorney. He hasn’t changed in that he remains unethical and incompetent; however, NOW HE IS ALSO DESTROYING INNOCENT PERSONS LIVES in his “personal judging” on the bench rather than following the laws of our great forefathers and acting as an accountable Judge (because he can!) in the great US of A.

    Stupid MA. If this “man of malice” had to “run” for his position on the bench or be judged by a jury; he would be back struggling to make a livelihood as a Real Estate attorney. The best part of that is that he would not be illegally creating and unethically carrying out “his own laws” to ruin thousands of Americans lives.

    Did you see the caption under Scandurra’s photo in the Cape newspaper on 1-29-12? Under what should have been his mug shot, the caption reads “Once he renders a decision, he rarely mulls it over again”. What the newspaper article failed to include is that this “creature” decides who his prey is, before he even hears the facts and evidence of this person(s). G-d Bless those who go before “Judge Robert Scandurra”.

    The best hope is that you never see his face in person, before he “retires”.

  17. Taryn Thoman

    Agreed. I will be posting an update on the local district court at the end of the week. Thanks for your comment.

    • Thank you Taryn for all your hard work at exposing this Court and the main man who “jails” his prey when in fact he should be in jail himself.

  18. Taryn Thoman

    I felt the same way about former magistrate Powers, & feel similarly about our current district attorney. After all, he & his assistants, along with prosecutors from police department saw Powers in action daily for five years & did nothing about his outrageous behavior. As for “family” court, my best advice is stay out of it if you can. The mediators are just as bad as the judges. Going to those people to solve your family problems is very risky, & should only be considered when all other measures have failed……repeatedly.

  19. SCANDEL PANDORA, otherwise known as Judge Robert Scandurra is a criminal and getting away with it. My brother is disabled. Since one of my other brothers did not want anyone in the family to be “Kevin’s” Guardian, Criminal, Scandel Pandora assigned a supposedly Impartial Guardian”. From the start, she WAS BIASED all the way. She made my brothers and I get lawyers to speak to her, rather then speaking directly to Kevin’s friends and relatives. Since Scandel Pandora appointed his NON-Partial Cronie as Kevin’s PARTIAL GUARDIAN THOUGH ON PUBLIC RECORD it say and should be a “Non-Partial” Guardian. Kevin has been intentionally isolated from his close knit family and is ruled by SCANDEL DORA’s self-benefitting appointees that JUDGE SCANDEL for years has allowed his cronies not file Fiscal and Personal Annual Reports for years. He also allows his unethical “Guardian” to spend Kevin’s own money without the family able to see anything. The other appointees to steal Kevin’s money on themselves. However there are no required by law reports in the Court records as Robbie the criminal is keeping this concealed intentionally.

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