Val of Columbus OH Cop Block shared the content below, regarding a case in which two young children were abused on video and members of the Whitehall Police Department later covered up those crimes enabling their abuser to avoid the appropriate level of prosecution and remain free to potentially abuse others, via the Cop Block Submissions page.
On October 13, 2014, the parents of two Columbus, OH area children were contacted after a six year old girl got off the school bus upset and told a school employee she had been physically abused by her bus driver, Christopher Litostanksy. The director of transportation for Whitehall City Schools, David Hausmann suspended Litostansky for two days without pay.
David Hausmann reported the incident after speaking with a staff member at the child’s school, the child’s mother, and Litostansky. Whitehall has a school resource officer, Spencer Salyers, so he was obviously contacted. Hausmann did not watch the footage the day he was contacted, but officer Salyers claimed to have watched it. Salyers assured the parents immediately that charges would be filed, he even said at one point that he “can’t wait to arrest Litostanksy and will be charging him with felonies”.
Timeline of video:
7:39 – Litostansky gets out of his seat, ties Child B up at 7:40-41
7:42 – Child A audibly hit the wall after being pushed by Litostansky
More kids get on the bus
7:54 – Litostansky hits Child A with a big umbrella. He says he was doing this because she was falling asleep however she was moving around one second prior
7:55 – Litostansky hit Child A on her temple with umbrella
another kid gets on the bus
7:58 – Litostansky pushes Child A’s face with umbrella
8:02 – Litostansky uses umbrella to poke./hit Child A’s temple
8:05 – Litostansky pokes then hits Child A with umbrella
8:12 – Litostansky strikes Student A’s face with
8:13 – Child B appears to be asleep
8:14 – Litostansky motions with umbrella in front of Child A, but doesn’t actually hit her with it
8:16 – Litostansky pokes Child A’s head with umbrella; Seconds later he has Child A come to him in his driver seat until 8:17
8:17 – Holds Child A’s hand until 8:23 when Child A exits the bus. He hugs her before she gets off the bus. A few other children pass untouched. A small boy is touched on the neck as he is exiting the bus.
Child A being untied is not on the footage. (Why?? What was done to him when he was untied??)
That video contained only one trip in one day of regular abuse. Salyers allowed Litostansky to go to the police department and be processed as if arrested but did not arrest him. Litostansky was charged with M1 endangering children, M1 assault, and M3 unlawful restraint according to the incident report. A few direct quotes from Spencer Salyers’ narrative within the police report:
Chris (Litostansky) then stops the bus and walks back to (names witheld for privacy) Child A and Child B. Chris grabs Child A by the arm and tosses her back into her seat. He then grabs a strap and ties Child B’s legs together and straps them under his seat so they can not move.
…Chris then walked back towards Child A and Child B and again grabbed Child A by the arm and tossed her back across the seat. This time with enough force that she hit her head on the window and you could hear a thud as she hit.
[Hausmann] stated the only restraining device they use are the harnesses that Child B was already in. He did not know what Chris used to restrain his legs and stated it is not an issued device for the bus.
Chris is then observed grabbing an umbrella from behind him. He then hits Child A on the bridge of the nose. Christ is then observed six more times taking the umbrella and poking Child A with it either in the side of the head or in the cheek area.
Chris stated he tied the strap to the seat pole at the bottom and brought it in front of Child B so he could not bring his legs forward and ran it around the poles and tied it in the back.
[Salyers statement about having noticed Child B’s legs being tied together] He then stated that was correct he did tie them together.
Chris stated he saw Child A falling asleep. He stated he used the soft part of the umbrella to “nudge” Child A in attempt to keep her awake.
If one of those children were your child, would you think this is just a couple of misdemeanors? It is important to note that after this all came out on October 13, 2014, the families discovered their children had likely been abused by this man since the beginning of the prior school year. No further investigation was done to determine if more charges were needed for prior abuse. The child referred to by me as Child B is an eleven year old, severely autistic boy. Child A is a six year old girl. One of the children was hospitalized not long before this abuse was discovered and upon discovery, the parents believe this was the cause of the instabilities resulting in hospitalization. The other child suffered a brain injury, various other physical injuries, and severe psychological trauma at the hands of Litostansky. The children reported various threats of what would happen if they told how he was treating them. Despite there being three surveillance cameras on the bus, this abuse was never addressed until 10/13.
Let’s look at the charges. Interestingly, check out this assault standard in Ohio Revised Code, had the children hit the driver, it would be a felony: “(d) The victim of the offense is a school teacher or administrator or a school bus operator, and the offense occurs in a school, on school premises, in a school building, on a school bus, or while the victim is outside of school premises or a school bus and is engaged in duties or official responsibilities associated with the victim’s employment or position as a school teacher or administrator or a school bus operator, including, but not limited to, driving, accompanying, or chaperoning students at or on class or field trips, athletic events, or other school extracurricular activities or functions outside of school premises.”
The endangering children charges are felonies per Ohio Revised Code. It is believed unfair and unlawful charges were created for this case due to Litostansky being not only a school/city (he also worked for parks and rec) employee, but also having close personal ties to the police. It is unknown whether Spencer Salyers chose these lowly charges or whether his supervisor forced him to not file felony charges. It is known that this abuse was not a new thing and that the school district refused to release other video footage that would have probably provided grounds for more harsh charges. You’d think the standards to make assault a felony would go both ways, whether the victim or aggressor is a school employee, but I guess the state is gonna state.
Usually we are pushing for dismissals, but usually the police are the aggressors and the “crimes” have no victim. In this case, real physical harm was done to two children and these cops are protecting this despicable man from facing fair and legally sound charges. A real crime is one in which harm is done to person or property, not when an individual chooses what to do with their own body, their own property, their own money. This case is legitimately criminal. These children and their families deserve justice. To create justice, they first need appropriate charges against this abuser. To get appropriate charges, it needs to be made clear that the people will not stand for these weak charges against a child abuser. I think there are also a few police officers who could stand to be charged with obstructing justice here. Clearly, both Officer Salyers and his supervisor Daniel Kelso are standing in the way of this child abuser being appropriately charged for his violations against these children. Please contact Spencer Salyers and Daniel Kelso, Brian Hamler, and Judge Tyack and request accurate charges and fair prosecution in the interest of these children.
Police Officers Involved:
City Employees Involved:
Michael Shannon – city attorney 614.237.9802
Legal Assistan t- Julie Harris firstname.lastname@example.org
Administrative Assistant – Tracy Wentz email@example.com
David Tyack – Franklin County Municipal Court
Bailiff – Robb Beck 614.645.8758
Secretary – Colleen Nye 614.645.8849
Fax – 614.645.7802
*Post written/submitted by Val of Columbus OH CopBlock.*