She had the Bible, for example, and the verse she recited often to her sons: “Honor thy mother and father, or their days will be shortened.”
And on a particularly frustrating Easter Sunday morning, as she tried to get the 17-year-old ready for church, she had her Taser handy, too.
“I said, ‘Get up! It’s Jesus day!’ ” Dobbins recalled to ABC 15.
Easter services at Greater New Zion Missionary Baptist Church had started at sunrise that day. But nearly two hours later, the teenager insisted on staying home with his friends, Dobbins said.
“He said some cuss words at me,” she told Fox 10 Phoenix. “He said that his friends don’t have to go anywhere.”
The boy was no stranger to trouble, Dobbins would later tell a court; he wore an ankle bracelet and was under her legal custody.
So by way of convincing him that he needed to be in church, Dobbins said, she fetched her Taser and stood with it in her son’s bedroom.
This is where the mother’s story begins to depart from a police report obtained by 3TV/CBS 5. Dobbins said she merely sparked the device while standing in the bedroom doorway, as a warning.
“I didn’t touch him at all,” she told Fox 10. “I made the sound with the Taser.”
But according to the police report, which cites both of Dobbins’s sons and their cousin as witnesses, the mother zapped the 17-year-old on his leg, leaving two small marks as evidence.
“He was like, ‘Mom! I’m calling the police,’ ” Dobbins told ABC 15. “I say, ‘You can call the police, UPS, DPS. Whoever you want to call.”
The boy made good on his threat. While waiting for police to arrive, Dobbins said, she lectured the 911 dispatcher on the meaning of Easter.
“I told her, ‘You need to be with Jesus right now.‘ ”
Instead, Dobbins ended up on her lawn with an officer, who after speaking to the boys informed her she would be charged with child abuse.
“He said, ‘You’re going to jail.’ I said, ‘For what?’ ” she told Fox 10. “I started crying and got in the back of the police car.”
So there was no church after all. Dobbins spent the entire day at the county jail, ABC reported. Video of her hearing shows her agreeing to supervised release, with several conditions.
“You’re not to possess any weapons,” a court official warned. “Including the Taser.”
The teen eventually decided he didn’t want his mom prosecuted, according to a police report. Nevertheless, Dobbins said, her son has to live with his aunt, by court order, at least until her first hearing later this month.
“He feels bad,” she told Fox 10. “He keeps hugging me, like, ‘Mom, this is crazy.’ ”
Dobbins could not be reached for comment. But she told ABC 15 that she agrees — to a point.
“I don’t think I did anything wrong, because you’re supposed to put God first,” she said. “That’s all I was trying to do, is tell my kids to put God first.”