Hakkens Back in US Custody; Children Returned to Grandparents

Joshua and Sharyn HakkenHillsborough County Sheriff's OfficeJoshua and Sharyn Hakken, who kidnapped their own two sons and then fled to Cuba, have been returned to the United States. The parents are now imprisoned while the children are back in the custody of the maternal grandparents. From the Associated Press:

Joshua Michael Hakken and his wife, Sharyn, were being held Wednesday at the Hillsborough County Jail on charges of kidnapping, child neglect, and interference with custody, according to the jail's website. Joshua Hakken also was charged with false imprisonment. His bond was set at $154,000. No bond information was listed for Sharyn Hakken.

Both are expected to make their first appearance Thursday in Hillsborough County Court, the sheriff's office said in a statement. It was not immediately known if either of the Hakkens has an attorney. The couple will not face federal charges, said David Couvertier, a spokesman for the FBI in Tampa.

The grandparents made a brief statement and are planning to make a longer public statement Thursday that might explain a little bit more about what is going on. Today’s Associated Press story doesn’t contain any of the “anti-government” claims about the couple that had been in previous reports. All that’s left is that the parents lost permanent custody of the children over a drug possession arrest in Louisiana (though it’s notable that the AP declines to specify that the drug was marijuana).

Read Mike Riggs’ previous reporting of the Hakken family’s flight from the law here.  

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  • Scott S.||

    Before anybody asks, Riggs is at Rand Paul's speech at Howard University, so I tossed this one up.

  • Tim||

    Take his lunch out of the fridge and eat it. You know you want to.

  • SugarFree||

    One of the many reasons I have my own mini-fridge. And because diabeetus.

  • fried wylie||

    I had no idea minifridges were an effective diabetes treatment.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Where else is Nutrasweet supposed to keep the pancreases he harvests from, uh, donors?

  • SugarFree||

    The rest of them are squicked out by having filled syringes in there with their chicken salad. Sissies. There's breast milk in there all the time.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Seriously, fuck work fridges and microwaves. And cappuccino machines, those god damn things never get cleaned.

  • Tim||

    If its Friday that stench must be Linda microwaving fish.

  • fried wylie||

    There's breast milk in there all the time.

    I'd complain. Just out of sheer dickishness.

    Filled syringes? And how far in advance are you filling them that they need to be refrigerated? Am I exposing too much ignorance for someone who is supposedly managing their diabetes?

  • SugarFree||

    They don't have to be refrigerated if you are going to use them in a few hours, but it makes a fine excuse to have my own fridge.

    And I'm on a weird insulin that has pretty strict temp restrictions. Supposedly those 300 unit insulin pens only have to be kept under 80 degrees after the first use. But this stuff I'm on only comes in bottles, so I have to pre-draw my lunch shot.

  • Loki||

    I'd complain. Just out of sheer dickishness.

    And then you'd be reprimanded for being insensitive to working mothers and sent to mandatory sensitivity training. Because that's what "inclusiveness" is all about.

  • deified||

    Dude, don't let the beetus get you down. Crush metformin for a quick-snortin' antidote to the evil sachar. 'Formin goes for $10 for a 3-mo. supply at Walmart.

    Now you can down Sundaes and fried Mars Bars ad libitum.

    You're welcome.

  • Zeb||

    I have no idea what any of that means.

  • SugarFree||

    Snorting? What is this, the 70s? Freebase, baby. Rock, rock, rock.

  • ||

    Aw Scott, you know us so well. Thanks for the update.

  • fried wylie||

    Isn't kidnapping already "interference with custody"?

    Steal something and get charged with theft and interference of possession?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    If they can't charge you with at least 3 things that all mean the same thing, then the terrorists win.

  • fried wylie||

    according to the jail's website

    What, no facebook update?

  • db||

    Nobody "likes" a prison.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Why does a jail have a website? I understand county courts having public records online. What's a jail going to do, blog about the lunch menu? Post celebrity mugshots?

  • Scott S.||

    Jail web sites are typically where the arrest/processing records are posted.

  • Thane of Whiterun||

    So the warden can pay his cousin $50k a year to keep WordPress up-to-date.

  • Ken Shultz||

    There's gotta be a pony in there, somewhere. Thank goodness the kids didn't end up in foster care, I guess. A lot of kids aren't so lucky.

    Can we end the drug war, already?

    How many kids are put into foster care every year because of the drug war?

    Doesn't Obama have any compassion at all?

  • fried wylie||

    If droppin bombs and ruining the economy isn't compassion, then I don't know what is.

  • CE||

    So Cuba extradited? WTF?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Be nice to get more details about this whole business. Maybe they are dangerous whackjobs. Maybe the government is collectively a dangerous whackjob. Wait, strike the second maybe.

  • Hugh Akston||

    For once I agree with ProLib. Call it hard-learned cynicism, but I'm not ready to declare these folks martyrs to the cause just yet.

  • Pro Libertate||

    See, once you get used to it, you'll do it all the time. Here, have some Chicago-style pizza.

  • fried wylie||

    the "chicago-style" qualifier legally defines it as something besides Real Pizza. At least, it would in Europe.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Fuck Europe. What do they know about pizza?

  • fried wylie||

    What they don't know about pizza they make up for in legal protections for products made in specific locations.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Sorry, but the fact that "Shades of Gray" is your favorite episode of TNG makes it hard for me to take anything you say seriously.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Don't be absurd. My favorite episode is the one where Picard beamed Wesley into space, one piece at a time.

  • ||

    You're confusing SF's slashfic with canon again.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, no, I clearly recall "Pieces of Hate." Very intense.

  • ||

    No, you're thinking of his slasherfic jesse. It's understandable though, there's no real difference between the two for SF.

  • ||

    but I'm not ready to declare these folks martyrs to the cause just yet.

    Agree. BUT, if it is as we initially suspected, we should start a fund drive for their defense.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    Yeah, but I still like their instincts. Short of a heavy police state, ripping my family apart would be the one thing that would bring me to take up arms against the government. Maybe it's justified that the kids be taken from their parents (though with the openness with which the drug offense and gun-waving allegation has been released, I'm skeptical of how much worse any suppressed info could be), but I'd like to think even awful parents would feel the sting of having their kids taken away. Not sure if this was the most effective method, but fighting the state can feel pretty hopeless.

  • CE||

    The father was falsely arrested for the non-crime of smoking a vegetable. Then armed agents of the state kidnapped his children. When he tried to get them back, HE was charged with interference with custody and wrongful arrest.

  • deified||

    Dude, you're in Tampa. Burn some shoe-leather and make us all proud with your renowned sleuthing skills.

    We will think you with our undying gratitude and the half-eaten cheese sandwich that Shackford stole out of Riggs's lunchbox.

  • Bramblyspam||

    Sucks to lose kids over smoking pot. However, trying to regain the kids from foster care at gunpoint sounds a little unhinged to me - I'm speaking of the initial, failed gunpoint incident, not the "kidnapping" from the grandparents. I suspect there's more to the story that we haven't heard yet, my impression is that both the authorities and the Hakkens are a wee bit dodgy.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That incident is the one that gives me pause, though we don't really know anything for sure.

  • fried wylie||

    Yeah, how stupid of parents to become unhinged when their children are taken from them. So gauche.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's understandable, but there are plenty of crazy people out there. The question is whether totally unwarranted government action unhinged him or whether he was unhinged in the first place, which is why the government acted the way it did.

    It sounds awfully suspicious to me, too, but I don't want to jump on their bandwagon just because I'm generally less-than-pro government, too.

  • fried wylie||

    I'm not jumping on the parents bandwagon. I'm still riding the "the govt is automatically wrong" wagon. Great suspension, all leather interior, excellent fuel efficiency. It's a sweet ride.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, far be it from me to argue with that position. We should be skeptical of all government claims.

  • ||

    How much do you want to bet that the media quickly forgets about this whole incident and we NEVER get ot find out why they were taken.

    This whole thing will be shoved under the run. Just some human collateral damage from the leviathan state.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Except it never ends up going anywhere.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Being unhinged almost never warrants government action.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, how stupid of parents to become unhinged when their children are taken from them

    Well, yes, it is stupid in that it will most likely lead to your losing custody of your children. Understandable, perhaps, but still stupid. It may well be justifiable to seize your own children from a foster home, but it's probably not going to improve their lives.

  • fried wylie||

    I'm going into a rage and am unable to compose a proper reply.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Since they had already lost permanent custody, it was worth a try. Its the thought that counts.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah sure. And assuming that these people were not actually going to harm their children, I would have been pleased had they gotten away with it.

    It just seems like there are a lot of tuff guys who proudly announce that "if anyone did that to my kid, they'd be dead". I can certainly understand the impulse, but you going to prison isn't going to help your kid have a better life.

  • Virginian||

    Sometimes you can't win, you can only make the bastards remember your name.

    300 Spartans fell to the last man. The men at the Alamo did the same. Not a single one of the Warsaw Ghetto fighters lived to see the Nazis fall.

    But we remember the names. Leonidas. Travis and Bowie and David Crockett. Mordechai Anielewicz and Paweł Frenkiel.

  • Brett L||

    When your grandparents tell you that your parents kidnapped you and took you to Cuba when the government said you couldn't live with them, I assume that those kids will not doubt that their parents very much wanted them and loved them.

  • CatoTheElder||

    As so clearly explained by Melissa Harris-Perry in her MSNBC promo, children do not belong to parents; they belong to the community.

    The community determined that the parents were failing in their duty to nurture obedient servants to the community. This was not an easy decision, but the community must take such decisions when the facts dictate.

    The parents are in deep trouble because they erroneously thought that "their" children were really theirs, and took action to liberate the children from the community.

  • Feanor78||

    My recurring thought on that is why on earth was there not a warrant out for this guy's arrest if he threatened a foster home with a gun? Aren't there like 4 charges to be filed from that alleged encounter?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Good point.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    Yep. It looks a lot like an "accusation" that gets thrown out by law enforcement to smear someone they don't like. For all we know, the foster parent was the only "witness", making this whole thing rest on his/her word. I'm thinking of the whole "border patrol uniform" thing in the Jose Padilla murder.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Jose Padilla murder?

  • ||

    Probably because he didn't actually threaten anyone with a gun. He just showed up at the foster care center with a gun in a holster on his body, and they spun it as "threatened them with a gun" and "tried to take them at gunpoint" to gin up public support for hunting him down.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    This just makes me think Sword of Truth.

  • Tim||

    I'm guessing they must be batshit crazy for Cuba to fork them over so quickly. There was no way to use them.

  • tarran||

    No. It's the Elian Gonzales thing.

    My guess is that the Cubans are more interested in keeping Cubans in then providing fleeing Americans a safe haven. That means obeying the treaties regarding child custody to the letter.

  • Tim||

    I guess we'll find out, as there's no chance for the police to burn them up or shoot them at this point.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    as there's no chance for the police to burn them up or shoot them at this point.

    O, ye of little faith.

  • ||

    It's no fun being an illegal Elian.

    /Phil

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Speaking of Elian, did the Cubans point their automatics weapons at the cringing kids?

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    My guess is that we'll soon see an end to the embargo and the Cuban dictators didn't want to fuck that chance up.

  • ||

    Except in the Elian Gonzales case they were reuniting the parent with the child, not separating them.

  • CE||

    Should have sailed to Venezuela.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Fuck. Another reason to hate the Cubans.

    And yet another reason to hate and fear the long, lawless reach of the American government.

    I wonder what the bribe was. "Nice island; be a shame if something was to happen to it."

  • Mickey Rat||

    You don't run to a totalitarian state to avoid the heavy handed actions of your home state.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    trying to regain the kids from foster care at gunpoint sounds a little unhinged to me

    I suspect crawling and groveling futilely before the Leviathan will do that to you.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, yes, I know. But it's not like everyone the government arrests or screws over didn't have it coming. They could be totally insane. We don't really know.

    Of course, the government needs to prove such things beyond a reasonable doubt for a crime. What's the standard for taking away kids? Mild discomfort?

  • ||

    They could be totally insane. But so far all we know is that they were smoking weed and acting wierd. And the guy posts on all sorts of websites and doesn't seem that insane.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Melissa Harris Perry must be in some sort of frenzy of happiness.

    Maybe she'll bring the kids on the show and explain to them how much better their lives will be now.

  • deified||

    She's three(3)-knuckles in to the nappy dug-out.

  • ||

    Wow.Somebody was posting the other day about how draconian LA was in regards to MJ and this seems to be a prime example-they lost primary custody because of a MJ charge?Was it at least some sort of major weight trafficking thing(I could at least see SOME sort of justification there,although I wouldn't support it, since traffickers are often involved with violence and robberies etc. of traffickers in their home are not uncommon... but still)or merely possession?

    I was talking to a CPS social worker the other day about how they are viewing MJ use in the home as regards kids,since it is now entirely legal to use and she said MJ use in the home was never viewed as a big deal as far as child custody was concerned prior to legalization, but it was at least A consideration.

    This is another benefit of legalization is that now(presumably)use of MJ will not affect child custody , or at least as much as it did. Abuse of even a legal substance e.g.alcohol can affect custody when we are talking major abuse of course,so the same would hold true with MJ, but ceteris paribus any kid would be better off with doper parents than alcoholic parents imo and ime.

    I had to assist CPS with the forceful removal of a kid from a mom due to severe heroin abuse not too long ago and it was about the most unpleasant thing I have ever had to do.Taking a kid away from his parent is a tragic thing that should not be taken lately. I'd love to know what the underlying case facts were in this here case.

  • ||

    We don't have a ton of info at this point but earlier posts here at H&R indicate it was possession of (probably) a small amount. Definitely not trafficking as they weren't charged with anything worse than possessing and something about "displaying in front of a minor."

  • Bernieyeball||

    "just beacause someone wrote the readin' (on H&R for instance) how do ya know they wrote the readin' right?"

  • Scarcity||

    Have you read the earlier posts? They are based on news reports that quote people involved and stuff. As Nikki indicates, those reports are also full of vagaries, hence many people's reluctance to call for full hellfire on the government just yet.

  • ||

    Right possesion of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphenalia, and useing in presences of a minor.

    Oh and he had a gun in his room. And he was acting wierd.

  • ||

    Keerist. What a debacle. Iow, sounds like a whole lotta nothing.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "I'd love to know what the underlying case facts were in this here case."

    Who the fuck is this? Festus?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8363Z3V0Es

  • ||

    Festus was a Usurper!! Matt Dillon's original deputy was named Chester.

    P.S. I like Festus any way.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Joshua and Sharyn Hakken, who kidnapped their own two sons and then fled to Cuba, have been returned to the United States. The parents are now imprisoned while the children are back in the custody of the maternal grandparents."

    Too bad the Cubans don't have the USA's immigration laws. The Kakkens could have filed appeal after appeal, allowing them to remain in Cuba for years while their status was adjudicated.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I mean, the Obama administration wants to send that German homeschooling couple back to Germany, but it's been tied up in appeals for years. Why can't the Cubans be like that?

    Oh, yeah, because they don't have judicial review of the whims of government officials. Because they're Commies.

  • ||

    And yet his Aunt and Uncle get to stay. Makes you think doesn't it?

  • ||

    His= Obama

  • deified||

    Aunt Zeituni, despite being an illegal alien, got free public housing. This is public housing for which there is a waiting list populated by Americans. Then she had won her deportation case, kept her illegal housing, and wrote a book about how the system took advantage of HER!

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    So are the Cubans going to give the boat back?

  • mr lizard||

    Just heard an update on the news. They put the couple in solitary as an extra fuck you.

  • Virginian||

    Of course they did. Land of the free!

  • ||

    This is the sort of thing that makes me want to buy a gun and go shoot a few choice individuals.

    If I could find out the cop who busted this couple in the first place ...

  • ||

    It's interesting how people seem MORE willing to belief this couple are dangerous wackjobs after they were apprehended, than when they were on the loose.

    It's almost like people DON'T WANT TO BELIEVE that the government is capable of unjustly taking someone's kids away, and that said people ultimately have no way out, not even kidnapping their own kids and fleeing to a foreign country that hates America.

    I think there's a kind of cognitive dissonance here. The world is not just, and we still want to think it is.

  • ||

    There's ample public outcry and criticism over a metric assload of cases where CPS (allegedly) unjustly took kids away.

    CPS has a thankless job. They don't take a kid away, the kid dies from neglect, everybody wants their heads. Or the reverse happens. CPS complaints are so frequently bogus - ginned up bullshit to try to make one spouse look bad in child custody hearings, or a neighbor gets pissed off at another neighbor over a property line dispute and next thing you know they are lodging an anon complaint about child neglect.

    We had one just a couple of days ago, disgruntled tenant texting threatening messages to his landlord culminating in threats to sic CPS on him.

    One of my friends is a CPS social worker, and actually pretty conservative (they tend to be libs) and she has some stories about some REAL abuse that are fucking chilling. Some people are just fucking evil. But most of the shit they deal with is total bullshit, but they have to go through the motions anyway.

  • ||

    Recall that in texas CPS took dozens of kids from a Mormon community and held them for months because of a single crank phone call.

    Because of the few cases where there is real abuse and CPS fails to protect the kid, it seems they err on the side of removing children from their homes.

    And there is no presumption of innocence when it comes to child custody. If you are a parent and CPS things you are dangerous or something, you don't get to argue your case in front of a jury. They make the decision and you have little legal recourse for appeals.

  • ||

    Yes, the world of CPS is much like the world of "domestic violence". In a DV protection order, there is no jury, there is no presumption of innocence, no crime need be proved at all, and the standard of evidence is "preponderance". There is also no right to an attorney if you can't afford it.

    I've long argued that for the average joe, especially the average INNOCENT (iow didn't actually commit a crime) joe, the war on domestic violence is much more likely to unjustly strip rights, to include RKBA etc. than the war on drugs. The latter is fucked up, but in the latter you are more likely to be dealing with actual guilty people, the standard of evidence is generally higher, there is less hesaid/shesaid bullshit etc.

  • Alsoausfbull||

    Went to school with Sharyn at USF college of engineering although I didn't know her personally. Class of 2001. She was more of a friend of a friend of a friend. This case has me scared out of my mind with worry that they are coming after my child too. How can it be that they were visiting Louisiana, in a motel, aka no access to search warrant privileges and Louisiana retains jurisdiction over their child protection case even though as Florida residents they were just on vacation there? How come, if he was a threatening foster care parents with a gun, he wasn't arrested before? Did they ask Sharyn to divorce or leave Josh, her husband, and she refused so they rescinded her parental rights too? I had to look up national information today on how CPS is implemented between states so I know where not to travel and have found Louisiana, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and a few others to have to have only a "reasonable" suspicion of abuse with no substantiation to remove children. Once parental rights have been revoked, any future children are confiscated at birth. I admire Sharyn. She was so brave. Read national CPS report here. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/d.....b/cm11.pdf

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