Calgary Herald

January 5, 2000

Dad Scrambles after kids hurt in police chase

Wendy-Anne Thompson and Jeremy Hainsworth
Calgary Herald

A Calgary father said he had a frantic three days trying to locate his two daughters, who were apprehended by social services when their mother was arrested after a short police chase.

The father who can't be named to protect the identity of the children, is estranged from the children's mother but says he is entitled to custody of five-month-old and five year old girls because there is no court order stating otherwise. He said one of the girls was to have spent the weekend with him, but she didn't show up on Saturday.

"I had to find out what happened in the paper. No one contacted me, no one is taking any calls, he said.

He finally found out where the children are on Tuesday and will meet with a social worker who will determine if he can look after the children.

"Where are my rights? They are my children, I am their father."

The mother appeared in provincial court Tuesday. Bail was set at $180 on charges including impaired operation of a motor vehicle, operating a motor vehicle while having a blood-alcohol level over .08 and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle. She was also barred from drinking alcohol.

She'll be back in court Friday.

She was arrested at dawn Saturday, after leading police on a brief chase and smashing her van into light standard at MacDonald Avenue and 8th Street S.E. The two kids were in the van, and both were taken to the Alberta Children's Hospital.

The five-year-old was treated for a broken leg and facial cuts. The five-month-old was treated for a contusion to the head. Both were released Saturday night.

Mark Kastner, director of communications for the Calgary Rockyview Children and Family Services Authority, could not comment specifically on the father's case. But he said in similar cases, social workers would talk to the mother and determine where she wants the children to go.

"If it's a case of divorce or where the couple is not together sometimes the mother won't always give out the father's name," he said.

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