Daytona Beach father who beat up rape suspect asks for donations
DAYTONA BEACH — The father who pummeled an 18-year-old man police say was sexually battering his son put his son’s picture on social media Monday and initially asked for $1 million in donations to help rebuild the child’s life.
“Rebuilding Innocence” was the headline atop a picture of a sleeping boy on a website called gofundme.com. The father posted a link to the website on his Facebook page Monday.
“We are reaching out to anyone that can help. Our son was sexualy (sic) assaulted and we are now faced with the challenge of picking up the pieces, the emotional and financial burden is about more than we can endure.. Please.. Anything helps.. God bless and be with you all..” the father wrote Monday.
Early Monday night, $145 had been donated. A few hours after the Facebook post, the son’s picture was removed from the gofundme page, more description was added, the headline was changed to “Help Restore My Son’s Innocence” and the million-dollar request was reduced to “$100k.”
Police Chief Mike Chitwood was dumbfounded Monday when he learned that the youngster’s father had posted the child’s photograph on Facebook and that he was asking for funds.
“It’s sad,” the chief said. “You don’t go out and exploit what happened to this young man (the son) for money.”
Chitwood explained how investigators and mental health officials who work with victims of sexual abuse strive to protect their identities.
“This is unbelievable,” Chitwood said. “The stigma that goes with being sexually abused is terrible.”