Parents arrested, autistic son put in dog cage
Anaheim, CA (WDAY TV) - TWO CALIFORNIA PARENTS WERE ARRESTED AFTER REPORTS THAT THEY KEPT THEIR SEVERELY AUTISTIC SON IN A CAGE.
Neighbor: "It's only for animals, you know, I believe. I don't think there's any reason that could ever make me want to put my kid in a cage."
NEIGHBORS ARE SAD AND ANGRY AT THESE ANAHEIM PARENTS WHO ARE ACCUSED OF KEEPING THEIR OLDEST SON, A BOY POLICE IDENTIFY WITH SEVERE AUTISM, IN A CAGE.
TRACY LE AND LLOYD VU WERE TAKEN FROM THEIR GARRETT STREET HOME IN HANDCUFFS LAST NIGHT AND HAVE SINCE BAILED OUT OF JAIL.
Lt. Bob Dunn- Anaheim Police: "Inside that dog kennel was a mattress and some bedding. So we believe that somebody was staying in there in some capacity, not an animal, and so that's what we're looking into as well. How often was he put in there? What was the impetus for putting him in there?"
THE NONVERBAL 11-YEAR-OLD, WHOSE IDENTITY IS BEING PROTECTED, WAS CARRIED OUT LAST NIGHT IN HIS PAJAMAS AND PUT IN AN AMBULANCE. HIS SIBLINGS, A SISTER AND BROTHER 8 AND 10 YEARS OLD, WERE ALSO TAKEN FROM THEIR PARENTS AND PUT IN PROTECTIVE CUSTODY.
ANGELA BAHANA KNEW THE FAMILY AS QUIET.
WHEN HER MOM TOLD HER ABOUT THE ARRESTS, SHE THOUGHT SHE WAS KIDDING.
Angela Bahana- Neighbor: "I was going to ask her if she was joking or something or playing a prank or something, because it's not the kid's fault that he has autism. It's just the parent's problem of how they try to abuse him and try to put him up in a cage. I don't think if I were the boy, I wouldn't even survive in a cage. I would try to break off and try to...I don't know. It's just devastating."
WHAT ISN'T CLEAR IS HOW LONG THE BOY WAS IN THE CAGE,WHICH WAS SEIZED BY THE POLICE. DETECTIVES HAVE HEARD DIFFERENT STORIES, FROM HOURS, TO DAYS, TO YEARS.
Dunn: "There was some information that we developed very early on in the investigation from talking to people that as he has grown older, his outbursts as it relates to his autistic condition have become more violent, less able for the parents to control him, so it was thought that perhaps they instituted putting him in there to help better control him during these outbursts."