Chad Phillips, 33, is charged with interfering with a custody order. Phillips took his three boys from their mother in
This stems from a fight between Phillips and his ex-wife earlier this year. Phillips told police he had custody of his boys, but he couldn't prove it.
Police say they could help prevent such incidents with better information.
The dispute between Phillips and his ex-wife goes back months. According to police reports, the boys' mother first called police on January 9, 2010. She was concerned about Phillips hitting one of the boys with a belt on his bare bottom, but police never found any evidence.
The next day, on January 10, Phillips called the cops. He said his ex-wife had ransacked the apartment and taken the boys.
Two days later, on January 12, police intervened as the couple fought over the kids at a bus stop. Phillips’ ex-wife said she was leaving and taking the boys with her. Phillips told police he had custody, but he couldn't prove it, and his ex-wife took the boys to
“You don't know who's telling the truth, and there's usually a certain level of truth in both stories,” said New Haven Police Chief Michael Sweet.
Sweet says officers have to ask couples to show paperwork to prove custody, but he says that doesn't really help.
“In the end the paperwork is not the answer, quite frankly,” said Sweet. “It's gonna be probably a database that's real time for law enforcement to see what was the last official ruling from a court.”
Sweet says a database would also help solve custody disputes that range across several states, like Phillips' case. It would be expensive, but Sweet hopes
“If we started in
But, without a database, Sweet says police do the best they can.
“It's all up to what's best for the kids,” said Sweet.
Phillips faces three counts of first degree custodial interference in