SRO observation leads to child abuse arrest

Combined reports
Posted 11/8/18

STAPLETON, Alabama — For the second time in three months, an observation by a Baldwin County School Resource Officer has led to an arrest on charges involving a child.Michael Thomas Owen, 28, …

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SRO observation leads to child abuse arrest

Posted

STAPLETON, Alabama — For the second time in three months, an observation by a Baldwin County School Resource Officer has led to an arrest on charges involving a child.

Michael Thomas Owen, 28, of Stapleton was booked into the Baldwin County Corrections Facility on Tuesday, Nov. 6, charged with two counts of sodomy, torture/willful abuse of a child, and sexual abuse of a child under 12.

According to Baldwin County Corrections records, he remains in jail on a $210,000 bond.

According to reports, a School Resource Officer noticed severe spanking marks on the child. An investigation revealed the alleged abuse which investigators believe was ongoing for at least two years.

This is the second time this school year that the observation of an SRO has led to an arrest on charges involving a child.

In September, a Rosinton couple was arrested on drug and child endangerment charges following observations by the local School Resource Officer.

Thomas Charles Cottle Jr., 35, and Brandy Michelle Booth, 34, face two counts of child endangerment, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia charges.

On Tuesday Sept. 11, a Baldwin County Sheriff School Resource Deputy working at Rosinton School observed Cottle arriving at the school to drop off his 6-year-old daughter. The SRO noticed that a second child later determined to be 4 years old was not properly restrained while in the vehicle.

The SRO, while speaking with Cottle, noticed that both children were very disheveled and the SRO and a DHR employee traveled to Cottle’s resident on Parker Lane and Initiated a welfare concern to check on the 4-year-old.

The residence was a camper trailer and upon arrival the authorities discovered the living conditions were “deplorable and unsafe for anyone to occupy,” according to a BCSO release issued Wednesday.

At the residence along with the child were Cottle and Booth, his girlfriend and mother of both children.

“The camper was in deplorable condition with hotwired power and no running water,” according to the release. “It was cluttered with drug paraphernalia and narcotics. Ms. Booth admitted to the deputy that she was smoking meth just 30 minutes before authorities arrived.” There were two guns recovered as well. One of which Booth tried to hide as Cottle answered the door.

According to jail records, Booth was released on Oct. 15, while Cottle was released on Nov. 5. The children were reportedly placed in foster care.

This report is a combination of online reporting, a release from the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, and additional reporting by Onlooker co-editor John Underwood.