A 6-year-old boy of Temple Terrace, Florida, was brutally stabbed by his own father while the child’s family was setting off celebratory fireworks. According to authorities, the father, identified as Xavier Dequan Thomas Sr., 23, stabbed his son more than 20 times then threw the child’s body over a 6-foot fence into a wooden area, leaving his son for dead. After stabbing his son, Xavier Jr., the father returned the party as if nothing had happened. Xavier Sr. was arrested shortly after the horrendous incident occurred and now faces a charge of attempted murder, according to jail records. The child sustained personal injuries to his back, check, neck and arms. Although his liver was lacerated, his personal injuries were described punctures which were non-life-threatening.
Family members describe the father as mentally ill. Xavier Sr., has been in and out of mental health facilities for years. On the day he attacked his son, Xavier Sr. asked his sister, Terenesha Thomas, to spend time alone with his child. Because Xavier Sr. seemed sincere, he was allowed alone time with his son. Approximately 30 minutes after the father-and-son duo walked off together, Xavier Sr. returned alone. Thomas went searching for the child but before deputies could find him, the child came staggering out of the wooded area where he was left for dead covered in blood – he identified his father as the attacker. If you would like to read more on this incident as well as a brief overview of the father’s mental health history please see Father brutally stabs son more than 20 times in Temple Terrace, Florida.
In order to protect children from mentally unstable parents, children should be constantly supervised while visiting parents with such conditions. Having supervised visitation will allow a mentally disabled parent to see their child but also keep the child safe from harm’s way.