GUTHRIE, Okla. – A man arrested after police said he kicked out the two young children, a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old, he was meant to be caring for outside in the cold.
Neighbors first noticed the kids were outside in the cold weather by themselves.
“One of them was in the road, the other was hiding behind a tree, huddling, trying to get warm,” said Guthrie Police Sgt. Anthony Gibbs.
He said the weather was 50-degrees with a 20 mph wind speed. The two children weren’t wearing shoes or jackets.
“It was real, real cold,” said neighbor Sandra Stevenson. “It was too cold for kids to be out. This beautiful lady across the street kept them until authorities got there.”
The woman who took them in spoke to News 4 off-camera and said they told her they had been kicked out and didn’t know what to do. They had a cell phone with them, so she called their former stepfather who was meant to be watching them, Matthew Anderson.
“Stepfather told the good Samaritan who found them that they were not his children, and not to call him back again,” Sgt. Gibbs said.
When police got there, they found out Anderson was mad because the kids had cookies for breakfast, and because he’s not allowed to spank them. But police said there apparently wasn’t anything else to eat in the house.
“So he woke up their mom, made her go out and buy some food, and in the meantime had sent the children out because he didn’t want them there,” Sgt. Gibbs said.
Anderson allegedly told police that he told the boys to go with their mom. But police said the mother told the boys they would stay, didn’t know he ordered them out, and that they were still inside when she left.
Anderson was arrested for child neglect, and bonded out.
But the next day, troubles continued, and the children’s mother sought the help of neighbors.
“She did not look good at all,” said Stevenson. “I said, ‘Is there a problem?’ She said, ‘Yes, my husband`s trying to kill me.'”
Anderson allegedly strangled her until she admitted the ordeal with the kids wasn’t her fault.
He was arrested again for domestic assault and battery by attempted strangulation. His bail is set at $30,000.