Blog Post #10

Arizona man abandons granddaughter in desert with loaded gun

There are stories that I come across that I choose not to blog about because they are too sad or grotesque. There are also stories that seem as if a parody news account created them. This is one of those articles, and I had to check it out to see if it was actually true or not. The title of the article reads “Arizona man abandons granddaughter in desert with loaded gun.” I did not know whether to laugh at the stupidity of the idea or be terribly afraid for the little girl. I quickly did research to learn that the granddaughter was in fact unharmed after the incident, so I was able to take the situation a little more lightheartedly. I even showed the article to my peers and they did not believe it was a real article. There are so many aspects I want to cover about the article but I began by learning about what the actual situation was.

Paul Rater is was found in a local restaurant eating a cheeseburger and drinking a beer when authorities were able to track him down. Officials say that he immediately admitted to leaving his granddaughter in the desert. Apparently Rater and his granddaughter were going for a ride in his new pickup truck, when he left her in desert brush, and gave her a loaded gun. The series of events that happened in the story so far seem so ridiculous it is hard to believe how a man could be so foolish to put a child in that much danger. Not only is she at risk of injuring herself with the gun, but there could be many other dangerous factors that could’ve arisen from being alone in the desert. The saddest part of it all is that the little girl is five years old. She was quoted saying to her grandmother, “I don’t know why papa left me. I was calling out for him. He took me by some bushes, gave me a gun and left me.” The heartbreaking quote truly shows how vulnerable the little girl was in the dessert. After four hours the girls was reported missing, which is a scary amount of time for the little girl. The family notified authorities and a helicopter was able to locate her.

The gun she was given was a .45 caliber hand gun, and it was set to the ready-to-fire position. She also reported that she was instructed to “shoot any bad guys.” This leaves me to believe there is something mentally wrong with Rater. No one in their right mind would in the first place give a loaded hand gun to a 5 year old girl, let alone instruct her to shoot at potential threats. Sanity has to have been missing, and I am hoping a further investigation will take place regarding Rater and his motives. He claimed his truck got stuck and they had to walk for help because he left his cellphone at home, and he only abandoned her under a tree after she couldn’t walk any more. This plea has no meaning when the authorities found him eating a burger and drinking beer, he obviously was in no rush to go back and make sure his granddaughter was okay. That will not hold up in court and I am hoping he will be found guilty on all of his charges. He has been charged with two counts of child abuse and one count of child endangerment, and given a $25,000 bond. The charges seem appropriate but one thing that can not be fixed from this situation is the relationship with the family. The child was returned to her mother and I can not even begin to think about how the family dynamic is now. I am so glad there is only emotional hurt rather than physical hurt, if the granddaughter had been injured in any way it would take this scenario to a whole new level. Rater has to be very thankful that the situation did not go as bad as it could have.

After stumbling upon this article I am glad I took the time to look into it. I am still just as upset and confused as I started but I was able to be slightly relieved when I learned that the girl was okay. The situation is horrible, but I am thankful it was not worse than it already is. Christmas will interesting this year for the family.



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