Early this morning, the anti-government parents who kidnapped their two sons and sailed away with them were tracked down and brought back to the United States. They were found in about the last place you'd expect to find two "patriot" parents--Cuba!
Cuban authorities turned over the family of four to the U.S. State Department and the FBI after CNN found them in Havana on Tuesday.CNN's Patrick Ottmann found the Hakkens tied up at the Hemingway marina in Havana after federal authorities got a tip they were down there. Here's how it came down:
They arrived in Florida early Wednesday, where the two boys, ages 2 and 4, will get a medical exam, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee.
He said they secured the family dog for the boys, who will be reunited with it later.
Authorities booked the parents, Josh and Sharyn Hakken, into the county jail. They face federal and multiple state charges, including kidnapping, auto theft and child neglect.
Just as Ottmannn's crew started filming, Cuban police ordered them away and took the Hakkens into custody. Later that afternoon, Cuban officials agreed to return them to the States.
The two boys, two-year-old Chase and four-year-old Cole, are safe and sound with their maternal grandparents in Tampa. This saga touched off last week when Josh Hakken barged into his in-laws' home, tied them up with zip ties at gunpoint and took off with the boys.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the Hakkens now face a laundry list of charges--burglary with assault or battery, false imprisonment, grant theft of a vehicle, child neglect and kidnapping, among others. They're due to appear before a judge later today.
As if the past week proved these are some sick puppies, WTVT in Tampa obtained a statement from the police department in Slidell, Louisiana about the Hakkens' time down there. Read it here. Last June, police were called to a hotel where the Hakkens were staying. They found Josh Hakken with pot, a gun and a knife on him. Both he and his wife were acting in what police charitably describe in a "bizarre manner" and making apocalyptic statements--with both kids there. Slidell police were alarmed enough that they called child-welfare authorities, who placed Chase and Cole in a foster home in Hammond.
Two weeks later, Josh burst into the foster home brandishing a gun and demanded his boys' return, but left empty-handed. Apparently something else must have happened in the interim, because last week the Hakkens were stripped of their parental rights. From the looks of it, they also need to be stripped of their freedom for a long, long time.