A four-year-old Ferndale, Wash. girl’s honesty ultimately saved her Black neighbor who was falsely accused of a crime.
On June 18, Abby Dean’s 17-year-old babysitter created a fake home invasion scheme, in which she tried to steal from the four-year-old’s family and blame the crime on Blacks. According to Seattle Fox affiliate KCPQ, the babysitter had two accomplices in her fake home invasion plot, her 16-year-old boyfriend and 18-year-old Ruben Benjamin. The babysitter and her boyfriend’s names were not released because they are minors.
Investigators say the 17-year old babysitter made up a story claiming that two Black men broke into the Ferndale home and stole electronics. Items such as a video game system, iPod, lap tops and piggy bank were claimed to have been missing. Investigators say that babysitter said that one of the robbers looked like the neighbors next door, according to the New York Daily News.
Neighbor Cody Oakes told the television station that he was handcuffed and questioned for several hours because he matched the description given to police. However, it was four-year-old Abby’s version of the story which helped Whatcom County Sheriff’s office solve the crime. The girl told police that robbers were White, not Black, and that it was the babysitter who ordered her to leave the house while they stole goods from it.
“Wednesday was the worst day of my life, she told KCPQ. “They told us to get out of the house because they wanted to steal stuff.”
The babysitter and her accomplices were arrested. The babysitter faces charges of conspiring to commit robbery and burglary and second-degree perjury charges. The other suspects were charged with second degree robbery, theft and burglary. As a result, Dean received her belongings back. Oakes was happy with the outcome and wants the suspects to realize that their lying could have put him in a tragic situation.
“It’s kind of sad because I don’t think she realizes the dangerous situation she put me in,” Oakes said.