A 38-year-old Washington man is in jail after forcing his 16-year-old stepdaughter to duel him with a wooden sword.
On Saturday, October 15, Fremon Seay's teenaged stepdaughter went to a party in Puyallup, Washington. By going she was defying Seay and her mother, and Seay drove to the event and dragged her home.
Typical situation for the parents of a teenager, right? So far. When they arrived home however, things took a turn for the baffling.
After beating the girl with what reports are calling "a tree branch," the 300-plus pound Seay sat on the girl's back, before deciding to blend her punishment with his ongoing love of the Renaissance Fair. Seay, it seems, spends much of his free time dressed in faux armor having faux swordfights with other adults dressed as faux knights, and now that his stepdaughter was 16, he decided that she was now old enough to have a swordfight with him.
Thus, she was sent off to gather her armor. On returning to the front lawn, the girl was forced to battle her stepfather -- an event that consisted entirely of Seay beating the girl with a wooden sword from 2AM to 4AM. Following the "duel," the girl collapsed, covered in bruises.
At this point, "her parents allegedly made her strip down to her underwear and then watch a 'Sunday sermon' on TV by an unknown preacher," according to the generally reliable Seattle Weekly.
During the sermon she managed to send a text message to a friend, and the friend, concerned, phoned the police.
Fremon Seay was booked on charges of second-degree assault, and is currently being held on $10,000 bail. Julie Seay, the girl's biological mother, was likewise arrested and is being held on $5,000 bail for her complicity in the event.
Whenever an event like this occurs -- and by "event like this," I mean anything that is simultaneously horrid and almost hilariously weird -- it is always our first instinct as rational human beings to assuage our fears of a truly random, uncaring reality by assigning blame.
So, what would you boys and girls like to pin this on? The RenFaire scene? Organized religion? The idiosyncrasies of rural America? Personally, I was leaning toward "fat dudes with cliché facial hair," but I'm up for whatever.