When Yelm police responded to a disturbance call at the home of Army sergeant Joshua Tabor on New Year's Eve, they found the 27-year-old Iraq War vet drunkenly threatening his neighbors while wearing a helmet and bulletproof vest.
Did a Ft. Lewis soldier do this to his 4-year-old daughter?
He was detained by police, presumably for transport to the Yelm PD drunk tank. But then his live-in girlfriend told investigators that he'd just beaten his daughter. Police later found the 4-year-old covered in bruises and hiding inside inside a locked bathroom.
Tabor is now facing charges that he angrily held his daughter's head partially under water as punishment for refusing to recite her ABC's.According to Yelm police chief Todd Stancil, Tabor told police at the scene that he filled a sink with water, and then held his daughter down on the kitchen counter as he pushed her head backward until the water reached eye level.
If you're thinking that sounds disturbingly close to waterboarding, you're not alone. A national debate has broken out in the blogoshpere over whether or not what Tabor did was actual waterboarding, as defined by that famous double-secret 2005 USDOJ memo.
Stancil said that he's not sure whether Tabor actually held his daughter's face under the running faucet. But that hasn't stopped various news outlets from using the word in headlines.
Semantics aside, Tabor's estranged wife Tiffany Stone told KOMO News that she's not surprised by the incident. Stone says that Tabor, who served 15 months in Iraq, was a hothead even before his deployment. The two were splitting custody of the child, who at the time of the incident had lived with Tabor, his girlfriend, and her children for just two months. Following his arrest, Tabor's daughter was removed from his home and placed into care in Montana.
Tabor's attorney tells KOMO that the full story has yet to be told. He'll have a chance to add some context at Tabor's arraignment on February 16.