Child dragged by backpack leash in SLC, police say

Posted at 6:32 PM, Apr 01, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-02 00:16:28-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A father and his friend are in jail, accused of child abuse.

On Sunday afternoon, witnesses say 35-year-old Paul Rapp dragged his friend’s son across part of 300 West near 500 North, and then tied the boy to a tree, all to smoke marijuana with the child’s dad, Richard Marsh, 29.

"Yeah, a lack of parenting going on," said Det. Greg Wilking with the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Police say Marsh's 4-year-old son was wearing a backpack leash and somehow ended up on the pavement as he was walking across 300 West. According to witnesses, Rapp dragged the boy on his back across at least one lane of traffic. Rapp then allegedly tied the child to a tree.

"They hooked the leash to the tree and stood by and started using marijuana," Wilking said.

Witnesses were surprised to see it all happening in broad daylight. It didn't take long for them to call 911.
"People saw something and said something about it. It didn't look right to them and they called it in. They were good witnesses, maintained eyes on the suspects," Wilking added.

When police arrived they arrested the two who now face child abuse and child endangerment charges.

Marsh also faces drug charges.

Marsh and Rapp were booked into Salt Lake County Jail as police checked out the boy. The 4 year-old has minor injuries to his back near his waist, police say. He’s now with his mother.