Logan County investigates child handcuffed at home

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GUTHRIE, OK -- Logan County officials have handed over an alleged case of child neglect to the district attorney. Officials say a seven-year-old boy was handcuffed inside his home.

His parents tell authorities they were trying to keep him from acting out. They say he had been stealing both at home and at school and they did not know how to stop him. The child is one of six kids in the home.

Monday afternoon the Logan County Sheriff's Office presented their case to the district attorney, seeking child neglect charges against the boy's mom and dad.

Captain Rich Stephens, with the Logan County Sheriff's Office, said, "Clearly, that was a bad parenting decision as well as meets the statuatory requirements for child negligence."

It happened in a home just north of Guthrie. According to a report from the sheriff's office, a deputy went to the home to do a welfare check. Once there he found the boy and he noticed indications something had been on the child's wrists.

The deputy asked about the handcuffs and the boy confirmed he had worn them all night.

Stephens said, "He was sleeping in a bed either handcuffed or had been handcuffed to a rail in another portion of the home during his waking hours."

He said, "He was unclean. Detectives said he appeared to have not had a bath in quite some time."

According to the report, the boy also said he had not eaten. There were five other children in the home ranging from three-years-old to 16. None of them appeared to have been harmed.

Stephens said, "The other kids appeared to be healthy and well adapted to the home."

When deputies spoke with his dad they were told the boy was cuffed because he was caught several times stealing and had tried to get his brothers to cut his sister with a knife.

Despite the trouble he had caused deputies say the parents should not have handcuffed the child.

Stephens said, "It wasn't willful abuse; however, it was willful negligence to provide certain things, in this case food or gaining access to safety."

A NewsChannel 4 crew did stop by the house. The dad was there as well as several of the children. He declined our request for an interview.

The child who was handcuffed has been taken into state custody. This case has been handed over to the Logan County District Attorney. That office will decide if charges will brought against the boy's parents.

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