- Arlena Willes was arrested on Facebook LIVE on Friday afternoon
- Willes is currently held in Maricopa County Jail and charged with two counts of child abuse
- Last year, Willes’ autistic son was placed in CPS custody under and emergency order after she refused him medical treatment
An Arizona mother who had her autistic child placed in state custody last year was arrested by on Facebook LIVE on Friday. Arlena Willes filmed the majority of her arrest for child abuse to her personal Facebook account.
Willes was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on Friday for two counts of child abuse. She is currently being held on a $25,000 bond. Willes is awaiting her initial appearance court.
The original video was removed from Willes’ Facebook following her arrest but a copy was uploaded to both the Facebook page and YouTube channel of self-proclaimed family advocate Francesca Amato.
Amato — along with the help of other self-proclaimed family advocates David Jose and David Straight — encourage parents involved with Child Protective Services to file nonsensical documents in federal court with the promise of getting their children home. One of the most long-running scams these advocates have pushed on desperate families are affidavits that allegedly get children out of CPS custody. According to Willes’ social media, just last week she had a trespassing order placed on her by social workers while serving her court filings.
Willes initially had her 15-year-old child removed from her custody after refusing medical treatment. Since her son’s removal from her home, Willes has very publicly refused to comply with the requests of the Arizona Department of Child Safety. Instead of complying, Willes been receiving advice from family advocates she found on Facebook.
Court records show Willes filed a poorly put together affidavit on July 3. In the affidavit, Willes refers to her case as a “fabricated case.” The affidavit is confusing and appears to consist purely of Willes’ perception of the law. At the end of the affidavit, Willes states that if there is no rebut to her affidavit within 72 hours, “you agree to pay $5,000 USD per day.”
In a post to Willes’ Facebook, she claims Arizona DCS has agreed to pay her $5,000 a day until they return her child based on her frivolous federal filing.
In another federal court filing on July 9, Willes claims DCS now owes her $250,000 per agent per violation and $500,000 per agency per violation and a Remonstrance. The document resembles other sovereign law documents as it demands irrational amounts of money and is mostly made up of nonsensical writings that hold little if any, legal merit. According to the document, Willes had taken her autistic son to the hospital for abdominal pain and blood in his stool. Upon discharge, the medical staff wanted her son to be on steroids. Willes would not agree to the steroids and said instead she wanted to treat him with “alternative naturopathic modalities” to help her “son heal naturally.”
Willes says after meeting with the doctors and rejecting the use of steroids, a hospital social worker then tried to explain the importance of steroid treatment for her son’s health. “The social worker stated that it was “life-saving” for my son Jonathon to receive this drug,” Willes writes. After being discharged from the hospital “against medical advice,” a social worker — named in the document as Olivia Douma — came to Willes’ house the next day. Willes claims Douma “coached” Johnathon on what to say to go back to the hospital and made false claims that Johnathon was “writhing in pain.” Willes’ husband Jeff finally agreed with Douma to take their son to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Shortly after arriving at the hospital, Willes’ son was placed in DCS custody under an emergency order.
Since the removal of her son, Willes has only made things more difficult for herself and her son. She publicly refused to respond to DCS due to a previous federal filing that was later thrown out. According to Willes, her federal filing trumped the state level Arizona agency. A small group of these online family advocates have encouraged Willes to what appears to be her own demise. Willes has only been able to see her son a handful of times since his removal and now faces criminal charges related to the case, which will most likely speed up the agency’s decision to terminate her parental rights.