Robert Demond told the court that after he picked his son up from school last October, he asked about a "matter that had come to his attention." When his son didn't respond, Demond stopped the car and told his son, whose age was not released, to walk the remaining mile to their house.
Calling his disciplinary style "old-school,"Judge Kathleen Watanabe found Demond guilty of a misdemeanor charge of second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor. In addition to the probation and fine, Demond will have to take a child parenting class.
"How far did you make him walk?" asked Judge Kathleen Watanabe.
"About a mile," Demond said.
These are different times, Watanabe said. It is understandable that you became upset with your son, but it is dangerous for children to walk along the highway, and there are predators out there, she said. The age of the child was not revealed in the course of the hearing and the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney would not divulge further information.
Demond, who said such punishment was common when he was growing up, agreed to his sentence and assured the judge he'd handle similar situations differently in the future.
UPDATE 9:20 am: Demond's son was 8 at the time of the incident. The two-lane road the son was dropped off on—Kuhio Highway— reportedly has 10-25 foot shoulders on each side but no sidewalks. From KHON:
De Mond said when he picked up his eight-year-old son from A-plus at Kilauea Elementary School, he noticed his son was on a time-out. On their way home, De Mond asked his son what happened.
"He answered, 'I don't know,' and I go, 'You need to take responsibility for your actions. Why were you in time out?' He kept saying 'I don't know," De Mond said.
About a mile from home, De Mond stopped the car along Kuhio Hwy. and told his son to walk home, he said.
"(I told him) basically think about what you did in A-plus to put you in time out," he said. De Mond continued home with his two other sons.
When De Mond went back roughly five minutes later, his son was gone, De Mond said.
Turns out, a bystander saw him crying, brought him back to the school and called police.