Mentally-challenged teen found handcuffed to pole in father's basement

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City police found a mentally-challenged teen handcuffed to a pole in the basement of his father's home on Monday. The teen said his daily diet consisted of one package of oatmeal, one package of Ramen noodles and two bologna sandwiches.

Three adults lived with the 17-year-old boy in the home on Wheeling Avenue in the Northland.

Police said they were called to the home on a welfare check with the Missouri Department of Social Services. The call was about a 14-year-old boy reportedly chained to a pole. When authorities arrived, the child's stepmother said a 17-year-old lived in the home, but was asleep in his basement bedroom.

Police said the stepmother volunteered to tell the teen that police were there, but officers went to the basement to talk to the boy instead. According to police, as they began walking down the stairs, they heard someone say "I didn't do anything. I didn't do anything."

Read the police report |

Police said they found a frail and thin 17-year-old getting out of the fetal position on the concrete floor. When police realized the child was handcuffed to the pole and couldn't get loose, they said they consoled him, called for more officers to come downstairs and used a handcuff key to free the teen.

Police said the boy was thin and his face was sunken on the sides when they found him. He was wearing dirty jeans, a dirty shirt and socks. He continually asked authorities for his jacket and shoes and seemed cold.

The teen told authorities he'd been in the basement since Sept. 27, 2012, when his father pulled him out of school to reportedly homeschool him. He said he was only locked -- not handcuffed -- in the basement at first and given minimal food, but when he found a way to get additional food, his father got mad and handcuffed the teen to his bed.

RELATED | Innocence lost: A timeline of child abuse cases in the Kansas City area

According to the police report, the victim said he took apart the bed and used it to break open the door to get more food in November. He said that's when his father handcuffed him to the pole.

The child told police that he would get one package of oatmeal, daily at 4 a.m. Then he would be locked up until 3:30 p.m., when his father arrived home and would unlock the handcuffs in order to let the child go to the bathroom. At that time, he would get one package of Ramen noodles to eat. Police said the victim reported he would get two bologna sandwiches sometime in the evening and a cup of water.

Police said the victim's stepmother, father and older brother all lived in the home. One of them told authorities that the teen was locked in the basement because they let him upstairs in December and he ate almost an entire bowl of fruit at one time.

Authorities took the teen to a local hospital for treatment. He was immediately placed into the custody of the Clay County Children's Division. A 2-year-old grandson in the home is also in safe custody.

Print this article Back to Top