KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – A Kansas City couple charged with child abuse Tuesday told authorities they handcuffed the husband’s malnourished teenage son to a basement pole because he was bipolar and they had run out of options in handling him, court documents said.
Police went to the home Feb. 4 after a neighbor called social services. They found the 17-year-old boy locked to a steel pole in the dark basement. He was curled in a fetal position, shivering on the cold, concrete floor and weighed only 103 pounds, according to a probable cause statement.
The teen’s father, David Martin, 42, and stepmother, Pamela Martin, 41, were charged in Clay County Circuit Court with child abuse and felonious restraint. Bond was set at $50,000. Jim Roberts, a spokesman for the Clay County prosecutor’s office, said he didn’t know whether the couple had attorneys.
The boy told investigators he had been kept in the basement since his father took him out of school in late September. Initially, he was just locked in but later he was handcuffed to a bed rail. The teen said in November, after the second time he tried to escape for food, he was handcuffed to the steel support pole. He was allowed to shower once every four weeks, the probable cause statement said.
The teen said he was fed oatmeal each morning, a pack of noodles during the day and bologna sandwiches at night. His weight dropped from 130 pounds to 103 pounds, and he had sores on both wrists, according to the probable cause statement.
A Kansas City police officer who responded to the home wrote in a police report that the teen repeated, “I didn’t do anything” several times when officers entered the basement. The teen was wearing dirty clothes and had only a few thin blankets to keep warm, he said.
The Martins told authorities the boy is bipolar and has attention deficit disorder, according to the probable cause statement. David Martin said they hadn’t been able to afford the teen’s medication and had run out of solutions to help him. David Martin said he needed to keep his son within reach and the handcuffing had lasted only three weeks.
Pamela Martin told authorities that the boy was moved into the basement in September, when her son and his child moved into the couple’s home. She said they began using handcuffs to restrain the teen in December so he wouldn’t sneak food or leave the home. She said her stepson was allowed to eat dinner with the family and returned to the basement at bedtime. She said she didn’t remove the handcuffs because the teen was “verbally abusive and would try to kick her.”
Juvenile court officer Alan Gremli said previously that the boy has been placed with a foster family and enrolled in school.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past