Main | Friday, August 08, 2008

NYC: Gay Dad Kidnaps Son From Husband, Flees To Israel

A New York man has kidnapped the boy he and his husband adopted together and fled to Israel. Authorities are calling it the first such case ever involving a married gay couple.
A baby boy adopted by two gay men whose marriage soured was abducted and spirited away from New York to Israel by one of the parents, who's now in hiding with the child, police sources said. An international custody battle was launched Tuesday after Eric Hyett, 37, vowed his spouse would never again see little Jedidiah Hyett-Glazer, who turns 2 next month.

Police sources said it was the first abduction case in memory involving a married gay couple in New York. "I practically fell to the floor when I heard what happened to my boy," said Joshua Glazer, 29, who's been a stay-at-home dad for Jedidiah for a year. "The reality hasn't set in, but I'm worried. I don't know whether my son is dead or alive."

Hyett, a computer whiz who once worked for Microsoft and recently had a high-paying job with an information services company, and Glazer married four years ago in Hyett's native Massachusetts. They adopted Jedidiah from one of Glazer's friends who gave him to the couple at birth. "I was right there in the delivery when Jed was born," said Glazer (pictured right), his face tight with concern, "but not Eric." Glazer said the marriage faltered quickly after Jedidiah arrived because "Eric became extremely jealous of the time I was spending with our baby."

When the couple split last September, the courts awarded Glazer primary custody and Hyett visitation rights. Under terms of the separation, Hyett is allowed to see the boy every weekend, picking him up under police supervision at the 17th Precinct stationhouse on E.51st. St., a short distance from Glazer's two-room apartment on E. 56th St. But when Hyett picked the boy up last Thursday he asked for two more days because he wanted to take Jedidiah to Boston to visit his grandparents. Glazer said yes.

"They were supposed to come back by noon Tuesday instead of Sunday," said Glazer. "But by 12:15, I was already starting to get worried. I knew something was up." Police said Hyett sent an e-mail to a former attorney for Glazer in which he said he and the boy had arrived safely in Tel Aviv. He gave his phone number and wrote to Glazer, "You won't see your son again." "I thought Eric was the right person for me," said Glazer, "but I was wrong. I told people he was capable of doing anything, but no one listened to me."
The comments on the linked Daily News story are a lulu, ranging from "He kidnapped the baby so he could have all the molesting to himself" to "Why are so many Jewish guys gay?"

BACKGROUND: In 2004, the Boston Globe ran a multi-part series of stories about Hyett and Glazer.

UPDATE: Eric Hyett gives his reasoning behind the abduction.
The gay father who fled with his son to Israel after a bitter year-long custody fight insisted Thursday their clandestine trip was done to protect the boy. "I left because Jed was the one who was suffering," Eric Hyett told the Daily News in a call from Tel Aviv, where 23-month-old Jedidiah was audible in the background. According to Hyett, the two men last spoke nearly a year ago, and his ex-partner, Joshua Glazer, ignored 200 messages about the deteriorating situation since then.

Glazer, left behind with boxes of toys and an empty bed in the East Side apartment he shared with the boy, called Hyett a "pathological liar." Police sources said it was the first New York abduction case involving a married gay couple in memory.

Hyett took the boy to Israel because it abides by the Hague Convention guidelines for international custody disputes. It allows custody case settlements outside the child's country of birth if there's a risk of abuse. "I believe my son, in desperation, found these laws and took the biggest risk of his life," said Eric's mother, Barbara Helfgott Hyett. "He did it for his son."

Hyett insists he e-mailed Glazer with an offer to visit Israel and work out their differences. He included a cell phone contact for Glazer to reach him. "He could reach out to us, to his son, at any time. He has chosen not to. That is not putting his son first," Hyett said.

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