The Army sergeant accused of submerging his 4-year-old daughter's face in a sink full of water after she refused to recite the alphabet went to high school in Conyers and was stationed at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, his estranged wife said Wednesday.
Joshua Ryan Tabor, 27, was arrested Jan. 31 after Yelm, Wash., police found his daughter locked in a bathroom and learned he had been holding her head in a sink as well as under a faucet of running water because she did not want to say the alphabet.
Tabor, who joined the Army in 2006, also has a Georgia driver’s license, according to the incident report from the Yelm Police Department.
Tabor is from Athens, according to Tiffany Stone, who spoke to AJC.com Wednesday afternoon. The two met in Athens in early 2006 and were married in December, just after they drove out to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, she said.
Stone, 27, who separated from Tabor in 2008, said his military career started before that, however. Tabor moved to Conyers at 13 and attended Victory Christian School. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve shortly afterward and was stationed at Dobbins Air Reserve Base as a helicopter mechanic, Stone said.
An official from Victory Christian School confirmed that Tabor graduated in 2001. Calls and e-mails to Dobbins Air Reserve Base were not immediately returned.
Stone said when the two met that Tabor was “too good to be true.” They were engaged in the fall of 2006 – something that she briefly broke off after Tabor “pointed a gun to his head and said he was going to shoot himself,” she said.
He also had recently joined the Army, signing up at a recruiting station at the Georgia Square Mall in Athens, she said. They drove out to Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Christmas Eve that year, she said.
Stone said she became pregnant but miscarried after Tabor pushed her. She went back to Georgia in May 2007, the day after Tabor was deployed to Iraq.
“That’s where my family was from … and I was thinking we were going to get a divorce,” she said.
Joseph Piek, a spokesman at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, confirmed that Tabor was in Iraq from May 2007 to August 2008.
Stone said she became pregnant again when Tabor was on a brief leave. At one point while in Iraq, Tabor sent Stone a computer message saying he wanted to “drive me and my unborn child off a cliff.”
Stone, who lives in Peachtree City, said she knew it was time for a formal separation from Tabor when she felt afraid to leave their young son alone with him. She filed for divorce in Clarke County Superior Court in December 2008.
Stone is Tabor's second wife. His first wife, who is the mother of the 4-year-old girl he is accused of abusing, lives in Kansas, according to police. Stone said she has a friendly relationship with the maternal grandparents of the 4-year-old. Stone said they called her last Sunday to tell her about Tabor's arrest.
A lieutenant from the Yelm Police Department also called Stone’s mother, she said.
Parts of the graphic report, including Tabor’s daughter’s name, have been redacted because she is a juvenile. Tabor or another witness also requested to have some of the information redacted as well, according to the report.
Yelm police said they arrived at Tabor’s home around 2 a.m. to find him wandering around then neighborhood threatening to break windows with a Kevlar helmet. Police said Tabor was intoxicated and that neighbors said he had been arguing with his girlfriend.
Police said they coaxed Tabor’s daughter out of the locked bathroom and found scratch marks on her back and bruises covering her arms, legs and neck. When police asked the child how she got the bruises, she responded with, “I don’t know why he did it … Daddy used his hands.”
Tabor also told his neighbors as well as the police that he was “upset with [his daughter] for refusing to say her letters for quite a long time … ” and that he took her into the kitchen, held her down on the counter and “submerged her head into the water in the large side of the two sided sink until the water level came up to around her forehead and jawline.”
Tabor at first denied putting his daughter’s face in the water, the police report said. He then told police that he wanted to punish her by putting her in the water “because he knows she is afraid of it,” the report said.
An additional report, filed by another police officer, stated that Tabor’s girlfriend assisted in holding the child, face up, under the faucet with the water running.
Tabor’s daughter told police that the water was hot and that, “my heart shirt got wet.”
Tabor was arrested and charged with felony assault on a child. He was booked into the Thurston County Jail. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Thurston Superior Court on Feb. 16, according to court records.
Calls to Tabor's attorney were not immediately returned.
This is not the first time Tabor has been accused of assaulting his daughter, who has only been living with him for about two months, police reports say. Tabor took her small, stuffed pink rabbit “as a punishment” when she came to live with him, family members told police.
Yelm police were also called to Tabor’s girlfriend’s home about a week before his arrest, the report said. At the time, Tabor’s girlfriend told police that he would make his daughter “sit in her urine soaked clothing until he gives her permission to change clothes.”
Tabor’s daughter was taken to a foster family but has since returned to her maternal grandparents, Stone said.
Piek, the spokesman for Joint Base Lewis-McChord, said Tabor is restricted to the base and living with his unit. The Army will decide whether to pursue any charges or disciplinary action against Tabor after the case in Thurston Superior Court is finished, Piek said.
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