U.S. soldier ‘waterboarded his own daughter, 4, because she couldn’t recite alphabet’
By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 7:12 AM on 08th February 2010
A soldier waterboarded his four-year-old daughter because she was unable to recite her alphabet.
Joshua Tabor admitted to police he had used the CIA torture technique because he was so angry.
As his daughter ‘squirmed’ to get away, Tabor said he submerged her face three or four times until the water was lapping around her forehead and jawline.
Tabor, 27, who had won custody of his daughter only four weeks earlier, admitted choosing the punishment because the girl was terrified of water.
Human rights activists demonstrate waterboarding in front of the Justice Department. A soldier father stands accused of waterboarding his daughter because she couldn’t recite the alphabet
The practice of waterboarding was used by the CIA to break Al Qaeda suspects at Guantanamo Bay. Detainees had water poured over their face until they feared they would drown. President Barack Obama has since outlawed the practice.
Tabor, a soldier at the Lewis-McChord base in Tacoma, Washington, was arrested after being seen walking around his neighbourhood wearing a Kevlar military helmet and threatening to break windows.
Police discovered the alleged waterboarding when they went to his home in the Tacoma suburb of Yelm and spoke to his girlfriend.
She told them about the alleged torture and the terrified girl was found hiding in a closet, with bruising on her back and scratch marks on her neck and throat.
Asked how she got the bruises, the girl is said to have replied: ‘Daddy did it.’
During a police interview Tabor allegedly admitted grabbing his daughter, placing her on the kitchen counter and submerging her face into a bowl of water.
Sergeant Rob Carlson said the punishment was carried out because the girl would not recite the alphabet.
Police have not revealed Tabor’s military service, but his base is home to units that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tabor has been charged with assault and ordered to remain on his base and have no contact with his daughter or girlfriend, who has not been named. He is due to appear in court this week.
The girl has been taken into care. Her natural mother lives in Kansas but Tabor had been granted custody by a court.
Anger over alphabet ends in arrest
Charged: Man accused of dunking 4-year-old
JEREMY PAWLOSKI; Staff writer
Published: 02/03/1010:02 am | Updated: 02/05/10 7:49 am
A man is accused of holding his 4-year-old daughter’s head under the water in the kitchen sink at their Yelm home Sunday night because she would not recite the alphabet, according to police and court papers.
The Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed a charge of second-degree assault of a child against Joshua Ryan Tabor, 27, on Tuesday. His arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 16.
According to court records:
Yelm police responded to a disturbance Sunday night after Tabor’s girlfriend reported that Tabor, a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier, “was irate, intoxicated and walking around the neighborhood with his Kevlar helmet threatening to break windows.”
Tabor’s girlfriend told Yelm police that Tabor beats his 4-year-old daughter and that the child’s back was covered in bruises. The girlfriend reported that the 4-year-old had locked herself in a closet because she was afraid of her father.
The girlfriend also reported that when the child wets herself, Tabor “makes her sit in the urine-soaked clothes” until he gives her permission to change.
The girl spoke to a Yelm officer, and he observed that she “had severe bruising on her entire back,” along with scratch marks and bruising on her neck, throat, chin, arms, legs and buttocks.
She “was asked how she got the bruises and she replied ‘Daddy did it.’”
Asked how or why it happened, the child would not reply, then said, “I don’t know why he did it.”
Tabor spoke to a Yelm police officer and said that he and his girlfriend had “held her down on the counter and submerged her head into the water three or four times until the water came around her forehead and jawline.” He said that she was face-up when her head was in the water. He added that they gave this punishment for the 4-year-old “refusing to say her letters.”
Tabor told police that his daughter is afraid of water “and was squirming around trying to get away from the water. Joshua did not act as though he felt there was anything wrong with this form of punishment.”
Yelm Police Sgt. Rob Carlson confirmed Tuesday that the alleged abuse occurred because the child would not recite her ABCs, according to police reports.
The police investigation has revealed that Tabor has had “serious anger issues in the past” and “has taken anger management classes.”
Tabor was released Monday from the Thurston County Jail after posting $10,000 bail. He is restricted to base at Lewis-McChord as a condition of his release.
He also cannot have contact with his girlfriend or children.
The child has been taken into custody by Child Protective Services, according to a police report.
Carlson said the child’s biological mother lives in Kansas. Yelm police have referred a potential criminal charge against Tabor’s girlfriend to the Thurston County prosecuting attorney, but she was not arrested Sunday night, Carlson said.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465