Montana police released information today about a man they arrested on Tuesday night for allegedly waterboarding four young boys, 2 of whom were not his own. William Albert Province was charged with three counts of assault on a minor, one count of assault on a partner, and one count of felony intimidation. The Helena man remains jailed on $200,000 bail. His arraignment is scheduled for January. The accused man was arrested as he returned from a trip to Alaska. Probably not the welcome home he had in mind.
An unidentified witness gave a statement that, on December 5th, they saw Province waterboarding the boys, who are ages 9 and up. Province proclaimed that the punishment was “a learning experience” for the boys, as he straddled one of them with his hand over the boy’s face while pouring water over it. Province was in the process of waterboarding a fourth child (why did that person do nothing??) when his girlfriend came in and tried to stop him. Province grabbed her and twisted her arm behind her back so hard that he broke her wrist and a few fingers. He was ready to fight the police when they arrived on the scene but they managed to arrest him without further incident.
He was wearing military-style body armor and, the witness told police, owns assault rifles and armor-piercing bullets. The latter is of concern as the accused was also heard to make threats to “take care of everything and everyone” at a nearby school and a Child Protective Service office. He also threatened an unidentified foster parent.
It is unclear which school Province was referring to when he made the threats but, considering the mood of the country at the moment, police may just be keeping that information private. The Jefferson County, Montana police are not responding to requests for further information.
This is not the first time the country has been shocked by a parent using this torture on a child. A Delaware pediatrician and his wife were arrested in August for waterboarding their 11-year-old daughter by holding her face under a running faucet so that the water would go up her nose. The girl and her younger sister were immediately placed into foster care. And in 2009, two Montana teachers‘ aides were arrested for torturing special needs students. It turns the stomach to think that any adult would do such a thing to a child but it’s so much worse when that adult is one the child looks up to.
And, once more, we ask ourselves, “What is wrong with people?”