In Bel Air, an avoidable tragedy

January 14, 2012

The circumstances that led to the arrest of Robert Richardson III on charges of killing his father were tragic ("No bail for Bel Air teen accused of patricide," Jan. 12). Although many details have yet to be revealed, this clearly was a family struggling with a multitude of social issues in addition to the tragic loss of a mother and wife.

As an educator, what I find the most perplexing and disturbing is the fact that the Harford County Sheriff's Department were called to this residence 12 times in recent years, and not one report was made to Child Protective Services. If the neighbors were able to suspect that this child was in an abusive situation, how could the police department not come to the same conclusion?

I can't help but feel that if there had been more collaboration between the police department and Child Protective Services this child would have received the emotional support he clearly needed and a tragedy might have been averted.

Martha J. Lappe, Baltimore

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