Martha McClure of Ronan, Montana — a heroine in her own right— suffered severe facial injuries after taking a shovel to the face when she refused to allow three children in her care to leave with their father who had been drinking.
McClure has reportedly been in the daycare business for nearly 20 years – and she probably thought she had seen it all until she encountered enraged father, Francis Jackson.
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Jackson’s children, all under the age of four, were previously taken from his custody and he was restricted from seeing them. Jackson, "has been in an ongoing CPS case for the past three years," Deputy county attorney James Lapotka wrote in an affidavit.
He allegedly arrived at McClure’s daycare with an unnamed woman, trying to take his kids. When McClure smelled alcohol on him, she told him to leave.
Jackson became irate and violent, throwing objects at the window. McClure reportedly locked the kids in the house and ran out with a snow shovel to defend the children and herself.
McClure went above and beyond her job description to keep the children in her care out of harm's way.
“She treats every child like [they are] her own,” McClure’s friend Krista Osterwyk-McKnight reportedly said, adding that McClure is by nature a “very protective” and “caring” person.
In a tussle, the shovel ended up being taken from McClure and used against her, Jackson and his female accomplice allegedly struck her in the face with it.
The two attackers fled, without the children, and McClure was treated at a hospital for her injuries. Photos of McClure's pummeled face were displayed in a startling photo on a gofundme page set up by Osterwyk-McKnight to seek donations for medical bills and lost wages, among other expenses.
This is a woman who put innocent, young lives before her own. Not only did she abide by the custody terms which bars Jackson from seeing his kids, but she acted in the best interest of their safety by noticing he was under the influence of alcohol and remaining firm that the children could not leave with him.
McClure is the kind of babysitter a mother would be proud to leave her children with, knowing she will keep them safe by any means necessary.
Jackson was arrested in Washington state and faces felony aggravated burglary and custodial interference charges, Buzzfeed reports.