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Texas father arrested after taking away daughter’s cell phone: “I was being a parent”

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — A Texas father was arrested for theft after he took away his 12-year-old daughter’s cell phone.

CBS DFW is reporting Ronald Johnson was arrested by Grand Prairie, Texas officers — but a judge later ruled there was a lack of evidence to move forward with this case, and Johnson was found not guilty.

Jackson told CBS DFW this all started back in 2013, when his daughter was 12. He found a text message on her phone regarding another woman that he thought was “rude.” So he took her phone away.

“I was being a parent. A child does something wrong — you teach them what’s right. You tell them what they did wrong and you give them a punishment to show that they shouldn’t be doing that,” Jackson said.

According to CBS DFW, Jackson’s ex-wife, who happens to be married to a Grand Prairie police officer, found out Jackson had taken the phone from the girl. Soon after, police were called and Jackson was arrested when he refused to turn over the phone.

“I didn’t want the police department telling me how to parent my child,” Jackson said.

Jackson was released after posting $1,500 bond.

Then, a year-and-a-half later, he was charged with misdemeanor theft.

Jackson told CBS DFW he was stunned.

“Don’t you have better things to do as a police officer? Aren’t there bigger crimes in the city to take care of?” Jackson said.

Eventually, the judge found Jackson not guilty, and he was allowed to keep his daughter’s confiscated cell phone.

56 comments

  • Seriously?

    Finally a parent is trying to be a parent and teach his child a lesson in a respectable way and the FATHER is punished for doing the right thing? Our society is seriously messed up!

    • Sarai

      I say the mother got emotional issues and took the daughter’s side which means she wasn’t looking to be a co-parent.

    • Ram

      The father was not being a parent, he stole the phone from the rightful owners for about a year if not more (that includes when he took it, the week later when the cops showed up to arrest him for stealing property, during the court case trial and etc.). If you watched and read the story, basically the biological father and mother are divorced, the biological mother and her new husband bought the phone. It was never the biological father phone to keep in the first place. He stole it, police picked him up after he refused to give up what he stole and he still refused to give up the item after he was arrest and during the trial. In the end the judge got fed up with the case and the biological father then the judge just let the father go and just said “he wasn’t guilty” just to drop the case after it was getting no where.

      So all in all the biological father looks stupid and dumb for saying “I didn’t want the police department telling me how to parent my child” …. they weren’t, they arrested him for petty – grand theft (depending on state law and worth of the phone), shows how dumb the father really is. So I’m glad he was charged with misdemeanor theft and that he had to pay 1500$ bond. I’m sure that taught him a lesson, then again… probably not… seeing as how dumb he is in the first place.

      • Ram

        As a added note, I’d have to ask/say. Is it really worth stealing someone phone with the ending result of the father looking like a ass, appear to be a dumb person to the world at large, giving up parental rights, cause he wanted to impress his new GF, waste tax payers money and so much more…. just because he stole a phone and wouldn’t give it up. “shakes my head and almost feels pity for this dumb father…. almost” … ah well he could have done worse.

      • Ram

        As side note – I read most of the rest of other peoples comments. To the few that took the time to thoroughly understand and read/watch the story/video and sided with the mother, congrats. As for the ones that didn’t understand what was going on because you sided with the father – i suggest you reread the story, rewatch the video and read my comments, you’ll understand quite quickly hopefully why you shouldn’t have sided with the father in the first place and what actually occurred and what he actuation did, as to the fact that he stole property that wasn’t his so he got arrested. I’m sure if someone stole your phone that you’d rather have the judge side with you to get your phone back.

        Basically what the judge did was injustice to the mother and daughter, along with injustice to the rest of us that might get our property stolen. If you side with the father, then by all means tell him your address so he can come over and steal your stuff, see how quickly you’d file a property theft report on him. Good luck.

      • Pugsley53

        You offer too much inside info to be a disinterested party. Did your daughter/daughter in law/best friend inquire about the rude comment that prompted the confiscation. Sounds like both sides are still fighting and acting irrationally and this really isn’t a story of disciplining a child, but rather two adults who are still lashing out at each other after divorce.

      • Dirk

        The daughter needs some serious help and the mother is just a hateful troll willing to use any means to destroy the relationship between the father and daughter and undermine him as a parent. This is very common and very obvious, also this RAM character seems too involved to be a bystander, i would guess he knows this couple or is associated with the police officer in some way. All you have done is create another brat with no respect for anything. Shame on you both and the stepfather you are all guilty of being stupid and neither of you deserve to be parents and its obvious you dont have what it takes to raise good children. The police officers employers should take a good look at him i would guess he is corrupt and uses his position to hurt anyone who dosnt agree with him, he is the one who should be standing in front of a judge a maybe he will in the future

      • Debbie

        your correct….okay to take it for punishment but not to keep it for over a year… it should have been gave back to her mother immediately……

      • Vicky Jones Wilson

        Absolutely the most immature, irresponsible ranting’s of an adult I’ve ever heard. Obviously this person named Ram does not have the first clue about how to parent a child properly. Nor does he have the ability to be able to rationalize out here why what the mother, daughter and police in this matter did was wrong. Yes, this country is going to hell in a hand basket because of people choosing not to parent their children properly if at all and adults bowing down to them because they’re afraid of their own kids. Get a life and realize these are children we’re talking about. For all that is holy learn about the long term consequences this child is going to have to live with because of the adults behavior in this situation, meaning the mother, step father and police department.

      • Ram

        Now on that page, i like some of the comments like so:

        The article says the Mom agreed that phone privilege removal was an appropriate punishment. She just wanted the phone returned to HER, not the child. She is the primary caretaker – for the WHOLE life of the daughter – Dad didn’t show up for the first 7 years, so she has primary responsibility for consistent discipline. Dad sounds like he was touchy about comments about new family and went overboard. Now has no relationship with daughter. His choice. He could have worked out an agreed upon phone-free period and returned the phone to Mom, but chose this route instead.

        or the other person comment like:

        Good grief, if the couple couldn’t manage to stay married, they should have attempted to stay civilized.
        The police, the courts, and the media never needed to be involved in this situation. Disrespect should have consequences, but waiting a month to return a cellphone that you didn’t buy is too much.
        Their daughter deserved better parenting from both of her parents, and less petty squabbles between the two.

        ——————————————-
        Anywho, as such as pointing out another media outlets article about this story, it proves the point that some of these outlets try to draw you in with tidbits here and there without all the info, now don’t the ones that sided with the dad sound even more like ones who can’t read or comprehend. Enjoy and bye =)

      • Robert

        RAM… You have far too many details not included in the original article, leave additional comments without a reply in the middle, and assume far too much negativity against the father to suggest you don’t have an axe to grind. I had almost an identical situation happen to me… I took my daughter’s phone and then my ex called the police. The police came to my house, scolded my daughter, and then left!!! That’s how is how it should go down in these situations. Effective co-parenting requires each parent to allow the other to discipline without interference. Better yet, they should support the other parent, even if they have grown to dislike them.

      • Cheryl

        I think the mom of the child told her police husband about this. This is how it all got started in my opinion. The mom used her husband to get the father in trouble. That is NOT right! The father did the RIGHT thing!

      • Ram

        Gazzad79: Then what does that make you for reading all of this so called “trivial crap”? And nah, just only a small fraction / portion of the day. Next time bring your “A game” if you’re gonna insult someone, good day!!

    • Jane Saka

      Life is all about good and bad experience
      Life is all about good and bad experience. It was all good and lovely when i met jully, she was a good business woman until things become rough for her and her business empire started liquidating. I was a very courageous and hardworking man so i decided to sell my inheritance to assist . We both struggle together and built the business world again. This time around the business was growing from strength to strength. I was surprise one Sunday evening when she came home with her secretary and told me that we cannot continue with this pretense called love. I was shocked and heart broken, i was in a friend, house for three weeks frustrated until i met fernando my old friend at the supermarket, he directed to me to Dr saka. I contacted saka and he told me that Jully was been manipulated by some spiritual power and he told me to provide some items which he is going to use to destroy the evil spirit. I never believe in voodoo but i had to give him a trial. To my greatest surprise, Jully called and started apologizing 2 days after i sent Dr. Saka the email. I am very happy and will continue to be happy for the good work the Saka has done in my life. Problems are been solved when good people like Saka are on this planet, please contact him through ultimatespearcast@gmail.com if you need any support in any problems in life. I love Dr Saka …πŸ™‚

  • guest89

    If the ex-wife paid/was paying for the phone it technically belongs to her. Therefore he was in (unlawful) possession of the ex-wife’s property. The parenting issue is another matter.

      • Ram

        It did, said it was the biological mother and her new husband phone, they filed a property theft report, a week passed and the biological father still had the phone, the police came to retrieve the phone, the father refused, they arrested him. Lesson is, don’t steal from others or you’ll get arrested, simple as that, I agree that there are times that police do abuse their power but this was not one of those cases, they actually did their job correctly in this case/situation.

      • Bull spotter

        I agree with this father. The mother is irresponsible and just wants the daughter to be a tramp. The “new husband” sounds like some weak man that cant stand up and tell her its not right to allow your daughter to be a fluzy.

    • Logical

      If a person gives your child something else (Drugs? Pornography?) and you take them away because they’re causing a problem for your child, could you be arrested for that? No one in their right mind would do that. Regardless of who owns the phone, it’s the father’s right to parent his child.

      That being said, it’s also possible that that father was being an ass because he knew that the mother had bought the phone for the daughter and wanted to turn her screws.

      It’s too bad that divorced parents cannot put aside their mutual dislike for one another when it comes to raising their child.

      • No

        You’re speaking in terms of legal items vs illegal items. You’re also leaving out that the mother, Jackson’s ex wife and current wife of a police officer in the same city (who never should’ve allowed this to happen), owns that phone and Jackson never handed it over to her like he should have and was stated at the end of the report’s video here. Yes, I agree with the father taking the phone away, but he could’ve saved himself a $1,500 bond, jail time, and court time after citation if he just handed the phone over to the mom in the first place. He probably was being an ass, as you suggested, and ended up getting what he asked for by letting this escalate. Really is a pity when divorcees can’t keep it between themselves and as away from the kids as possible.

    • JakkiK

      Apparently there is a reason the mom doesn’t have custody of her daughter. Any mom who would let her teen daughter, send inappropriate texts and/or photos over the cell phone, shouldn’t be parenting. Looks like mom was trying to make an issue of it, maybe to get custody back, so she could get a paycheck from dad? Who knows at this point. The dad did the right thing, the girl is a minor, he is her parent, and THIS is exactly what parents are suppose to do. Unless of course like mom there, she wants to be raising a grand child soon.

      • Ram

        They “had” shared custody, the key word here is “had”… The biological mother and her new husband as of right now have full custody over the daughter, in fact the biological mother had most of the custody rights, in the end the biological father lost any custody rights he had, after the daughter requested to have the biological father removed from having any custody rights at all and wanting it granted to her mother and step-father. Which was granted by the biological father and the court.

        The word in question that the daughter used was Ratchet – http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Ratchet (aka – A diva, mostly from urban cities and ghettos, that has reason to believe she is every mans eye candy. Unfortunately, she’s wrong, etc etc.) … all in all, the daughter could have said way way way way worse stuff. The biological father definitely went way overboard. Seriously, did you read/hear what he said as he tried to make up excuses for not returning the property that he stole….. he looks and sounds dumb…. you can just literally see it in his face, expression and tone… sorry but just calling it as i see it.

    • Ram

      Good question, its not news, its just “Fox News” being well…. “Fox News” ….. Its just the way society is… people rather know what the Hiltons or Kardashians are up to vs real news about new medical or technological discoveries that might save their lives or make their life easier, to spend millions on magazines or paparazzi photos vs fixing the water crisis in California. Plans that can suck up the ocean water, clean and treat it to use as drinkable or arable water — by the way, they have the technology for it… its just their excuse is it cost to much and etc. That’s the real news, good luck.

      • me

        You sure have spent alot of time passionately defending something not newsworthy. The dad had the right to take the phone, not keep it for a year. The mother and her cop husband had the obvious agenda of making him look bad in lue of co-parenting. The real story is divorce continues to tear at the fabric of our society and damage the children caught in between to competing parents.

  • Vicki Mitchell

    Why hasn’t he given his daughter the phone back after 1.5 years though? I could see taking a phone away for aq few days or a week for a rude text message but 1.5 YEARS? And if the ex-wife was paying for the phone, it should have gone back to her. (Although I do not know if that is the case.)

    • WTH?

      Okay, someone needs to be charged with a crime here. If the mother paid for the phone and service, then the father should be charged with theft since it would still belong to the mother. If the father paid for the phone and service, then the mother should be charged with filing a false police report. You can’t steal something that belongs to you. And if her police officer / husband had anything to do with this, he needs to be brought up on charges as well.

    • WTH?

      Sorry, that first response wasn’t directed towards you, it was a general response. But I would say that the phone may have been taken as evidence.

    • Robert

      This should be a Family Court issue and not a Criminal Court issue, and the Courts should consider the best interests of the child, not the parents. As long as a child is able to maintain “reasonable” contact with the other parent, a phone provided for the sole use of the child may be withheld by either parent for as long as it is reasonably necessary to provide effective discipline. This could be a very long period if either (1) the other parent attempts to minimize the effect of the disciplinary action or (2) the child maintains the bad behavior and believes he or she can simply out wait the parent’s discipline. The phone should only be returned to the other parent if it is used for an unintended purpose (for the non-purchasing parent’s benefit), the child becomes 18 years old and no longer subject to disciplinary action of the parent, or there is no reasonable disciplinary rationale for continuing to withhold the phone.

  • JakkiK

    So, because this man’s ex-wife is married to a cop, now he can expect to be harassed by the police at every turn. There is a REASON this woman does not have custody of this child.

  • Gina Mero

    This is why people distrust cops. This was a move by a feral ex wife with a new husband who is a cop…sad, very sad.

    • XdeRubicon

      Who’s the rocket scientist at the police department or prosecutor’s office that decided to let this go to trial?

  • omg

    Once the ex-wife threatened to call the police, the main issues concerning their daughter’s social interactions went out the window. NowThe tables have turned and now the poor child’s parents are fighting!! Over a CELLPHONE. We talking about a cellphone..I’m siding with the father on this one (and so did the judge). It was an expensive and long lasting fight but I am glad he stood his ground. I’m very curious to know which officer filed the report. If it was was the ex new spouse, then he should be investigated as well

    • XdeRubicon

      I’m with you, the judge, and the dad as well. To me this is not a cell phone issue, it’s a control issue. Which parent “controls” the child. I’m seriously doubting the judgement of the parent who decided she had the police in her hip pocket and the people between her husband and the judge who didn’t council the cop on the kind of trust issues that arise in the community when power is misused for personal reasons.

    • Cicero Viscious

      NO – it’s not over a cellphone – it’s over keeping your kid inline and NOT being told by the gov’t how to parent your kid. The phone is just the object – in essence the catalyst – of this whole thing. It cold have been a computer, an ipod, an 8-track tape – a frickin’ puppy. Doesn’t matter – all the key issues would remain…EXCEPT IN VERY RARE CIRCUMSTANCES, the gov’t has NO RIGHT to tell people how to parent and those rare circumstances ALWAYS include the welfare of the kid. Listen people, kids do NOT have the same rights as parents nor adults. They do not have the right to dictate what they can and cannot do nor what they can and cannot possess. They have a right to life, care, and protection – that’s it. It’s is the parents job to manage the rest…and this has been clouded by an endless set of bleeding heart type who are stuck on some eternal self-indulgent guilt trip for some imagined set of crimes and causes…and these people need serious therapy…

  • mari

    1. I think the mother has got serious issues. She is not thinking about what’s best for the child she is most likely because so do your parent they probably both have joint custody but she is the custodian and the father is the non custodial parent. So therefore the mother is not thinking about sharing, she is on a power struggle.
    2. The stepfather aka the officer overstepped his boundaries. Acting like he is the biological father and officer which in the court of law the stepfather actually has no legal say in the matter. I think these step father and the mother should reimburse the biological father the $1,500 that was spent to bail him out of jail hello so think that the stepfather the officer should be reprimanded for interfering in this civil matter. I think the mother should have a warning and if she continues on this type of activity and in the road she should removed as the custodial parent and given to the biological father. And if it continues again take away a little bit at a time of the mothers right and given to the biological father and vice versa if it turns around and the father starts attacking or doing things to the mother. Both parents need to work together as a unit as one and be on the same page for the child. If they both can not work together as one unit then they need to go into counseling to learn how to co-parent .
    3. It is not considered theft if the parents, like the mother, bought the phone for the child and the child goes to the father’s house for visitation and the child abusing that privilege and the father is taking the phone away is not theft . He is reprimanding the child for her disobedience and he is a not intending to keep the phone. While the child is in the father’s care he is responsible for the child and the items she has. Therefore he should be able to take the phone away if she is abusing that privilege. Besides once the parents give the gift to the child it is the child no longer the parents but as being the custodians over the child they have the right to take away an item to redirect the child’s behavior.

    So the shortened things warn the mother stop that type of behavior from following on to the child. Reprimand the officer aka the stepfather .. how the mother in the step father reimburse the biological father the $1,500. both parents should go in co parenting classes and the mother should pay for it. if they do that I think you may have a change all the way around.

  • anoush

    The ex-wife was not being fair despite if the girl’s parents get along or not. Just cuz ur married to a cop doesn’t make u any better cuz our society is messed up and nyou can’t even trust cops these day syet alone trust ur ex who’s married with one. All the power to the dad who confiscated her phone what he should’ve done is also ground her 12 year old ass and slap his ex for the messed up parenting she’s doing if she’ even involved and make jail time worth while since they locked him up regardless of doing nothing wrong.

  • Empowered2makeitwork written by Anne Perez

    This is one sick person, and that lady cop X spouse should give up her badge, She should be ashamed of herself. What does she want to one day arrest her daughter because of letting things like proceed into worse things in the future? I believe the father did everything correctly. Phones aren’t goon in the hands of the teens, unprotected by parents. To much bullying happens.

  • Cicero Viscious

    JEEEE-SUS….What the heck is America coming to??? The gov’t now states a parent cannot takes the minor child cell phone??? Are you kidding me??? Seriously WHAT NUTJOB thinks that is ok???? I have no idea if this is liberal lunacy – GOP lunacy – in fact, I don’t really care – IT’S LUNACY!!!! And no – I doubt the argument some here make about the phone being the property of the ex-wife holds any water because THE JUDGE LET HIM KEEP THE PHONE. What very likely happened is this loser ex-wife is marrying a cop so she sick’d her man on the ex-hubby…in essence she can’t fight her own battles and she needs to get her corrupt cop boyfriend to do it…LAME LAME LAME

  • 2sideswrong

    Are you f*c&ing kidding me? The mother needs to be behind bars for wasting police time and filing a false report…teach here right from wrong.

  • Linda

    It’s just an angry ex-wife using her husband now a police officer using/abusing his authority.
    1-his supervisor needs a mental health evaluation done….abuse of authority!! He should have told her the proper parental DISCUSSION they should have with their daughter…..without the new husband police officer. Actually HE should be disciplined!!!
    And to bring this type of attention th the DFW PD how selfish!!!
    God bless them if they are WILLING to move forward….. If not the only person hurt is this young ladyπŸ™πŸ™β€οΈ

  • Cheryl

    I checked out the story in blue. It was the same story. It did not say that he had this phone for a year. And I don’t understand why it was not his right to take the phone away. Was he suppose to call the mom & ask her if it was ok to take the phone away? I DON’T THINK SO!!

  • Kimberly Dahlberg

    OK my dad did the same thing but he inflicted violence. So you are telling me people that it is ok for a 50 year old man to abuse his only daughter of 16 just to take her phone away?!?!?!?

  • Don

    RAM… What you fail to see is that this really isn’t about the police and the law. It’s about a parent trying to better their child through discipline. The parents should have worked together to come up with together to punish her and the police wouldn’t have to have had be brought into the picture.

  • Roxann

    The wife and her new boyfriend/husband is very wrong for doing what they did. What are you teaching your daughter wifey, nothing you’re teaching her nothing except bad values you’re teaching her it’s who you know not how to be a good person not how to do right not how to abide by the rules shame on you.

  • Jane Saka

    Life is all about good and bad experience
    Life is all about good and bad experience. It was all good and lovely when i met jully, she was a good business woman until things become rough for her and her business empire started liquidating. I was a very courageous and hardworking man so i decided to sell my inheritance to assist . We both struggle together and built the business world again. This time around the business was growing from strength to strength. I was surprise one Sunday evening when she came home with her secretary and told me that we cannot continue with this pretense called love. I was shocked and heart broken, i was in a friend, house for three weeks frustrated until i met fernando my old friend at the supermarket, he directed to me to Dr saka. I contacted saka and he told me that Jully was been manipulated by some spiritual power and he told me to provide some items which he is going to use to destroy the evil spirit. I never believe in voodoo but i had to give him a trial. To my greatest surprise, Jully called and started apologizing 2 days after i sent Dr. Saka the email. I am very happy and will continue to be happy for the good work the Saka has done in my life. Problems are been solved when good people like Saka are on this planet, please contact him through ultimatespearcast@gmail.com if you need any support in any problems in life. I love Dr Saka …πŸ™‚

  • Roger

    Had you listened to all the facts it was the Ex-Wife’s phone that she gave to the daughter, and the Father took it from the child and refused to give it back to the Ex-Wife. This is what is called theft.

  • Linda Baumann

    Columbiana ohio 13 yr arrested for wanting to live with mom guardian stated he had no idea where she was funny he sent the sheffiff to her mom’s house. Had court she pleaded to please let her stay with mom. She was made to go with guardian.

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