Pleasantville, New York – In a high-stakes standoff, three teenagers—Mia, Matthew, 16, and Sawyer, 13—resisted their father Chris Ambrose’s attempts to bring them back to his Connecticut home tonight forcibly.
The drama unfolded in the tranquil village of Pleasantville, New York, where the teens sought refuge with a family friend.
Local police and CPS workers enlisted by Ambrose arrived at the suburban house, ordering the children to pack their bags and get in the car with their father to go home.
Earlier this year, the teens had fled their father’s home in Madison, Connecticut, leveling allegations of physical and sexual abuse.
A Connecticut Family Court ruling on August 8 severed their contact with their mother, leaving them vulnerable and homeless.
Initially taking shelter with their maternal grandfather in Rhode Island, the teens were forced to move again following threats from Ambrose. They found temporary sanctuary in Pleasantville, only for their father to track them down and stage a confrontation.
Three Mount Pleasant police officers and Child Protective Services ended their short-lived peace as police and social workers entered the residence, dismissing the teens’ claim that attorneys represented them in Connecticut juvenile court in their efforts to emancipate from their father.
The officers issued an ultimatum: “You can’t stay here. It doesn’t matter, your attorney doesn’t matter, you understand?”
Mia responded, “Sure. But I’m not going back. I’ll go anywhere else but back to him.”
A second officer upped the ante with intimidation tactics. He warned that any alternative placement would expose them to significant dangers, including physical and sexual abuse, and likely separate the siblings due to age.
The officer said:
“… You’re going to wind up… with some of the worst kids in the world. And you might not be together. You’d be separated because of your age… So the three of you are not going to be staying together. You’re going to be in Pleasantville Cottage School, or one of these other places that are a complete shit hole.
And you’re gonna get beaten, raped and abused on a daily basis. I promise you that because we take the reports there every day. The kids are, it’s horrible, and that’s what they do. They’re going to place you there until they find out what to do with you. And these are the worst places in the world.”
Despite the chilling ultimatum, the standoff extended over hours.
While Ambrose waited outside in his car, the teens recounted their alleged experiences of abuse by their father.
Mia said, “He sexually abused me. He emotionally abuses me….He tried to hit me with the car multiple times”.
Sawyer said, “He molested me. He touched my penis. I’m not going back with him.”
Matthew said, “He’s told me that the police are going to pull me out in a stretcher. I’m not going back.”
Despite repeated efforts by police and social workers, which alternated with threats and persuasion, the stalemate remained unbroken. Finally, officers retreated, admitting they lacked a court order to remove the teens.
“We’ll be back tomorrow morning,” an officer warned. “Your father will have a court order to take you.”
As the authorities left, Ambrose was seen revving his car before speeding away.
His persistent efforts, described by some as “obsession,” leave the fate of his estranged children hanging in the balance.
Hear the Recording
Hear the actual recording of the Mount Pleasant police officer threatening teens with rape and beatings
Pleasantville Cottage School
Link to the website for Pleasantville Cottage School, a home for emotionally troubled boys and girls, ages 7-16 (at admission), with educational, behavioral, and emotional challenges.
Mount Pleasant police claim children are raped and beaten daily there.