Paragraph five reads: “It was not immediately clear what
precipitated Thursday’s terror ride, but Haskins’ lawyer said the laid-off
carpenter was taking antidepressants, has been having
medical and family issues, and had banged his head against the truck prior to
Freetown man held on bail for allegedly crashing truck with young
January 09, 2010 12:00 AM
FALL RIVER A
Freetown man ordered his two young daughters into his pickup truck and took them
on a terrifying ride around his property Thursday afternoon, crashing into
rocks, trees, a camper and a building, while the girls screamed and asked their
father if he was trying to kill them, according to authorities.
and 12-year-old girls were cut by flying glass, and one girl’s head slammed
against a window, shattering the glass, authorities said. The ordeal ended when
the truck slammed into the camper and stalled, allowing the girls to escape and
run into their house, where they called 911, according to court
The children were taken to St. Anne’s Hospital in Fall River and
treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
The girls’ father, Mark W.
Haskins, 39, of 24 Locust St., faces numerous criminal charges that include
assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor
vehicle, malicious destruction of property and failing to have the girls wear
It was not immediately clear what precipitated Thursday’s
terror ride, but Haskins’ lawyer said the laid-off carpenter was taking
antidepressants, has been having medical and family issues, and had banged his
head against the truck prior to the incident.
“He has little recollection
of what happened here,” said defense lawyer Donald Friar, who described the
episode as “an aberration.”
Haskins was arraigned on the charges Friday
in Fall River District Court and held on $10,000 cash bail. Friar had asked for
$500 bail, but Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Gonzalez cited concerns for
the children’s safety and noted that Haskins had originally fled from
Haskins, who is the son of retired Freetown Fire Chief Wayne
Haskins, turned himself in to local police just before 11 a.m. Friday. On
Thursday, Freetown and Berkley police used dogs to scour the Freetown woods for
more than four hours, while a state police helicopter searched from the
Haskins allegedly ran into the woods after he went inside his house
and apologized to his daughters, telling them he loved them and that it would be
the last time they saw him, court records said.
Police said the girls’
mother was reluctant to cooperate with officers.
When Freetown police
arrived just after 4:30 p.m., Thursday, they were met by Martha Haskins, who
allegedly cursed at the officers when they told her they were investigating the
Police said she told the officers, “We can smash our own things
if we want,” and, “It’s not a big deal. Nobody got killed.”
Haskins also reportedly resisted efforts to transport the girls to the
Police said she also scolded her daughters for calling 911,
telling them: “I’m going to stay with your father because we’re married and you
two can go live with DSS. I don’t care.”
The Department of Children and
Families, formerly the Department of Social Services, was contacted and is
investigating. According to court records, a DCF case worker told police the
agency dealt with the family years ago when the couple reportedly abandoned a
son who was subsequently taken into DCF custody.
Alison Goodwin, a DCF
spokeswoman, said the girls are currently in the mother’s custody.
phone message left Friday at the Haskins’ residence was not
Freetown police interviewed the girls at the hospital Thursday.
They said their father ordered them into his truck, then began driving into
trees, rocks, a small building and a camper on the Locust Street property, court
When one girl tried to call for help on her cell phone,
Haskins ordered her to put it away. The girls said he pointed at objects right
before crashing into them. But when one girl asked him he if was trying to kill
them, Haskins said, “No, I’m not going to kill you.”
Police later secured
a search warrant and seized computer equipment connected to a surveillance
system on the property.
Haskins is scheduled to return to court Feb. 3.
Mooney ordered him to stay away from his daughters and to comply with any DCF
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