TAMPA BAY, August 31, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Ten year-old Joshua Heldreth, the eldest of eight children, was arrested on Good Friday of this year for trespassing while attempting to bring a drink of water to Miss Terri Schaivo. Days later Schiavo died of intentional dehydration. In court Joshua pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 hours of community service and ordered to write an apology for his actions.
The boy whose arrest photo was splashed on front pages of newspapers across the nation wrote in his apology letter, “I was arrested on Good Friday for trespassing on the hospice center’s property . . . Not giving Mrs. Shiavo (sic) food or water was wrong. The reason I had to go on your property was because Jesus would do the same thing. It made me sad that she was so thirsty and it made Jesus sad too. I knew she would die without water and I am called by Jesus to be a defender of the defenceless. So I had to go on your property to try to bring her a drink.”
Joshua added, “I am sorry that you didn’t like that and wouldn’t allow me to help save her life and one day you will have to tell God why. I won’t be able to help you then like I tried to help her. I will pray for you every day . . .”
LifeSiteNews.com caught up with Joshua’s father Scott Heldreth today. Scott told LifeSiteNews.com he is very proud of his son. “My son has amazed me through this whole thing,” said Heldreth. The proud father said it was his son’s own initiative to attempt to give the starving woman a glass of water, and despite the warning of his parents that he’d be arrested, the boy insisted. “He was the one who begged us to go down, because he wanted to give her a glass of water . . . We explained that police will never let you help . . . you’ll be arrested, but he went anyways.”
Pro-life leader Rev. Flip Benham of Operation Save America told LifeSiteNews.com that the whole pro-life movement shares Heldreth’s pride in his son. Benham recalls the reaction of Heldreth on Good Friday as he watched his son being arrested: “When that all took place Scott was weeping, this father was weeping tears of joy seeing his son not only talk the Christian talk but walk the walk.”
While the apology letter has been submitted, Heldreth told LifeSiteNews.com he’s not completely sure it will be accepted.