Big-name Cleveland family embroiled in custody battle

Big-name Cleveland family embroiled in custody battle

(WOIO) - Carl Monday and his Investigative Team have obtained a disturbing video taken outside a local hospital.  The video shows an 11-year old boy being dragged from Rainbow Babies & Children against his will.

The video provides a dramatic back-drop to a controversial custody case involving former Cuyahoga County official Pat O'Malley and his former wife Vicki.

Last month, the boy and his sister were taken to RB&C after they threatened suicide at a relative's Geauga County Home. According to police reports and 9-1-1 recordings, the boy made a call to 9-1-1, after a judge ordered sole custody of the children to the father.

Dispatcher:  "9-1-1.  What city?"
Son:             "My name is (bleep) O'Malley.  And if you make me go with my dad I'm going to kill myself."

When Thompson Police and Geauga County Sheriff Deputies arrived, they found the two children barricaded inside their grandparents home.  When they coaxed them to a window, both were holding kitchen knives to their throats.  The children were removed, unharmed, and taken to Rainbow where they spent the next ten days.

Six months after their divorce, Patrick O'Malley, a former County Auditor and Cleveland City Councilman and his wife Vicki have been engaged in a messy custody battle.  Vicki claims the children have been physically abused by their dad.

"I've seen him punch my children.  I've seen him push them up against the wall," says the mom.

Pat counters, his ex has turned their kids against him.  In a recording of a meeting involving the couple and counselors from Children & Family Services, the father says: "because of this demonization and false allegations made by their mother, the children have told therapists they have plans to kill me.  Stab me in my sleep."

In this war of words lies and indisputable truth.  Pat O'Malley is a felon.  Released three years ago from a federal prison after doing time for obscenity.  Colleen O'Toole, Vicki O'Malley's attorney told 19 Action News: "he has a fascination or at least was in the position of basic child pictures that were inappropriate."

Court records show investigators found 135 porn sites on computers confiscated from O'Malley's home, featuring everything from teen sex to bestiality.  So why today is it Pat,  not Vicki who has sole custody of their kids?

Margaret Mitzinger, one of two attorneys representing the father says:  "thousands of parents across this country, hundreds of thousands of parents go to prison and they still have relationships with their children."

The fact is, Pat O'Malley was awarded sole legal custody of the children and had a legal right to remove them from the hospital.  The judge who issued the order cited several experts, who claimed Vicki coached her kids to turn on her dad.  Attorney John Climaco:  "Mrs. O'Malley has deliberately brainwashed these children.  Scared them to death."

Vicki O'Malley denies she coached the kids, saying she personally saw Pat acting violent towards them.  Her attorney O'Toole adds:  "it is very unusual where children lock themselves and threaten suicide, if there wasn't something compelling to have them go with their father.

The mom, who has fought attempts at joint custody, says her children were mortified when she broke the news they would now be living with their dad.

"They told law enforcement, they told my parents that the would rather cut their throats open before they would go live with him."

Pat O'Malley's lawyers say the children are now living at an undisclosed location with their father and doing fine  So why did the couple's eleven year son have to be dragged from the hospital, as seen on the video?

Pat's lawyers say he got upset, after his mom, who was standing outside began to scream.  Vick says the boy just didn't want to live with his dad.

The younger daughter was released a few days later without incident.

Attorney John Climaco says the whole suicide threat was concocted by Vick O'Malley:  "We believe this was just another scheme, because she believed if she could get those children into Rainbow Babies & Childrens Hospital, in her mind, this custody would be overridden.

But one court expert who evaluated the children says concern for the children's safety is for real, telling the court she found "abundant support for the allegations of violence against Patrick O'Malley.

Vick O'Malley's attorney is appealing the sole custody decision.  Meanwhile, for the time being at least, the mom is not allowed to see her own flesh and blood. "That leaves these two children in a very dangerous position," Vicki told Carl Monday.  And wondered out loud:   "Who's going to look out for them?  Who's going to protect them?"

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