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I read this, the only thing of course is that they should have mentioned at least the dog did his job and was amazing and watched the child better than the parent.

Doberman baby-sat 2-year-old; dad convicted

August 17, 2006

BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter

Commuters at the Clarendon Hills Metra station grew worried when they saw an unattended toddler -- wearing only a diaper and a T-shirt -- sitting on the edge of the platform, throwing rocks at trains passing a few feet away.

But no one could approach the 2-1/2-year-old girl because she also was holding the leash of a large, protective Doberman pinscher, which lunged and growled at one woman who came too close, according to DuPage County prosecutors.

A passerby called Clarendon Hills police, who also were kept at bay by the dog.

The cops later followed the little girl and her dog home, then charged her father with misdemeanor child endangerment and felony unlawful possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.

On Wednesday the girl's father, 39-year-old Kenneth R. Johnson, was convicted by a DuPage County judge of the drug charge. Johnson, who was on probation for a 2002 drug offense when he was arrested on the new charges last October, now faces a 12- to 50-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors dropped the misdemeanor child endangerment charge to concentrate on the more serious drug felony, which they filed after police discovered about one pound of cocaine in Johnson's apartment when they returned with the little girl. Police also found marijuana, drug paraphernalia and $3,200 in the unit.

Johnson initially told investigators he hadn't realized his daughter had left the apartment on Oct. 10, authorities said. "He said he had fallen asleep and had not realized she had left the home,'' said Assistant State's Attorney Paul Marchese.

Dog kept commuters at bay

But Johnson later offered a different version of events, saying he had given his daughter permission to take the dog for a walk, Marchese said.

During Wednesday's brief bench trial before Judge Perry Thompson, Johnson didn't testify. But he did blurt out an objection to Marchese's account of the events. "That's a lie,'' Johnson said, denying he offered differing statements to authorities.

The little girl was wearing a soiled diaper and T-shirt, but no pants or shoes, when she was spotted on the waiting platform next to the tracks about 5:15 p.m. When a woman commuter tried to talk to the toddler, the dog growled and lunged at her. That prompted another person on the train platform to call police, Marchese said.

Ultimately, police followed the girl a few blocks to her father's apartment, then arrested Johnson after spotting marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the unit.

The girl wasn't injured and her mother later took custody of her, authorities said. The girl apparently had been visiting Johnson, but didn't live full time with him, said Jeff York, Johnson's court-appointed attorney.
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