Eight-year-old stabs Metro officer with a pen; mom arrested

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 7:51pm
Staff Reports

An eight-year-old boy Tuesday afternoon reportedly stabbed a Metro Police officer who was investigating claims of animal cruelty in front of an Old Hickory-area middle school.

School Resource Officer Randy Fowler was apparently stabbed several times in the leg with a pen by the boy, according to police reports. Both the boy and his mother, Rachel Swafford, 31, were arrested.

Fowler, assigned to Dupont-Hadley Middle School, was alerted by students and staff that a juvenile was repeatedly kicking an adult female dog in the street just off school property. According to police, the boy ran when he saw Fowler approach despite the officer’s commands for him to stop.

The officer caught up with the boy outside his home nearby, handcuffed him and placed him under arrest for animal cruelty and loitering during school hours. The handcuffed child sat on the front porch of the home while Fowler attempted to explain to his mother what had happened.

According to reports, Swafford then grabbed her son, pushed him into the house and began scuffling with Fowler, telling him that the boy would not be arrested. During the scuffle, according to Metro Police, the boy — who had slipped out of the handcuffs — began stabbing Fowler in the leg with a pen. Fowler eventually got both mother and son under control and into custody, reports say.

Swafford was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. Her bond is set at $12,500. Her son was charged at Juvenile Court with animal cruelty, loitering during school hours, aggravated assault and resisting arrest.

Fowler was treated at an area hospital and released.


17 Comments on this post:

By: mtlycru1 on 11/10/09 at 7:28

Maybe some of us animal lovers in the Old Hickory Area need to go pay this ignorant mother and her brat kid some manners.........maybe it wouldn't bother her if I were to stand outside in the street and kick her kid a couple of times. And it's obvious this kid has a problem if he hasn't been taught any better than to respect a police officer. Send his fuzzy butt to state detention for mental evaluation and her to jail (if not, give her community service - working a year for free in a local animal shelter).................

By: frank brown on 11/10/09 at 7:56

At least the boy stood up for what he thought were the rights that his Mother had taught him. Thank goodness the police officer did not shoot him.

By: misturdan on 11/10/09 at 8:22

Shoulda TASERED the little turd and let the dog have at "mom"

In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing."

By: njmccune on 11/11/09 at 8:02

To Frank Brown: What kind of cool aid are you drinking?

By: nothingbutagthng on 11/11/09 at 8:38

frank brown....... so are you condoning this

By: bassrhythms on 11/11/09 at 11:46

Let them both do community work at the animal shelter for a year...and a good ass whipping for the kid..

By: SirKnight on 11/11/09 at 1:27

Frank, are you praising the boy for standing up to what he "thought" were his rights even though he was wrong in his assumption? Or are you of the opinion that we should always be suspicious of police officers since they are likely to use undue force or pull their gun and shoot somebody.

By: pswindle on 11/11/09 at 1:29

And, we wonder why are schools are failing.

By: Magnum on 11/11/09 at 2:27

This kid has some major problems. Eight year olds don't just beat animals and stab policemen. Even worse is that it appears that he was acting alone while beating the dog. Not to condone beating dogs out of peer pressure, but at least it sheds some light on why he would be doing so. Unfortunately, the future doesn't look good for this kid.

By: real_frank_brown on 11/11/09 at 3:24

frank brown...you are killing me man. Your comment was about as low as the behavior of both mother and son in this story.

By: I_think_differently on 11/11/09 at 5:37

I hate it when Americans treat animals like humans but human life means nothing to them. A child who is cruel to animals has suffered some form of abuse 90% of the time. An animal can go from calm to abusive in seconds for no reason. All I'm saying is know the facts before you speak such ugly things about children who by the way are our future, not dogs or Fowler (who should be out fighting crime instead of wasting time harrassing children who clearly need HELP)

By: Magnum on 11/12/09 at 8:26

Actually I think differently, the fact that this child has likely been abused was what I was implying. It is clear that this child is or has been in an unstable environment, and the fact that he is already abusing animals is a red flag. So we're in agreement on that position. As for your second point, you are correct that we don't have all of the facts, but neither do you. So your judgement about the school guard being out fighting crime instead of wasting time harrassing children is just as ignorant. And just to be clear, the officer that was stabbed by the boy was a school resource officer...so he was doing his job.

By: localboy on 11/12/09 at 8:57

kudos to the officer

By: skeptic1 on 11/12/09 at 9:15

It is sad that this 8-yr old boy is probably already unsalvagable as a human being. A serial killer in the making. It appears that his mother is also a lost cause as a human and a dreadful excuse for a mother. It is the old philosopical question...are serial killers born or formed by their environment?

If this child is our future (And, especially to "...differently") , we are doomed!

By: onehorsegirl on 11/17/09 at 1:50

A child with this demeanor is a social pathogen; dangerous to his community and himself. At eight years old, he has been 'fed' violence and condemnation. I wonder about his visual/tv diet.??? Frank Brown...what in the $%@? is wrong with you guy???
No matter what community you reside within, it is a shock to witness any crime, let alone an 8-year old who took on law enforcement. Unfortunately, Officer Fowler was the catalyst in early intervention for this monster in the making. God works in wonderfully mysterious ways...Officer Fowler could have been fatally injured since both mother and son are 'of record', violent, without for-thought of consequences.
I know Officer Fowler; my child attends DuPont Elementary and I appreciate his efforts in responding to the students report of animal abuse. I personally, don't want that child 'loose' in my community, around my children and grandchildren, until he develops basic social & moral skills. I do however wish a great outcome for him and his mother.

By: Aodom on 11/17/09 at 5:09

there is more to this story than what is told. the child has special needs and a single mother struggling is not "unsalavageable". Yes the boy needs to be punished, but arrested? Was the sources for the animal cruelty valid, or could these be cruel rumors from a crazy neighbor that has caused others trouble? there is no mention that the police officer assalted the mother and knocked the boy down so hard that it split his head and he had to have stiches. sometimes when you read a article like this, it sounds like justice, but if you know the people or the situation, it never portrays the entire truth.

By: pogopossum on 11/18/09 at 10:05

the truth be known is that you have all only read what the paper said which was blown out of shape.Yes the boy kicked his dog, what they did not say was the boy weighs around 48 pounds and was bare footed and the dog he kicked was his , a full grown, 8 year old boxer. You did not read that in the paper.
Also you did not read in the paper that when the officer put the boy in hand cuffs that he managed to get them off of him , makling the officer mad and grabbed the boy by the neck , leaving scratch marks, then threw the boy down on a concrete porch putting abrasive markes on the boys wrist then stepping on the boy hands and also kicking the boy in the face, breaking the skin on and above his nose and bruses above the boys eye and on the cheek bone. Now that sound like child abuse but you all are worried more about the dog who got kicked with bare feet. The officer refused medical treatment and refused to have a band-ade put over the " wound" where he was stabbed with a ball point pen through his paints. What you all do not see, is now the dog is in a pound and if she is not adopted, then guess what? she will be put to sleep. What do you animal lovers more than human lover, think about that? May God bless all of you ..