Boy says held captive in Campbell house, denied food, water

Staff report


City police, along with Mahoning County Children Services, are investigating a case of child endangering involving a 17-year-old boy.

About 1 a.m. Monday, police reported to a Regent Street home after the 4-foot-8-inch, 70-pound boy fell from a two-story window.

The boy told police that he attempted to leave the house through the window to get water, and that he was extremely thirsty. When police asked the boy why he didn’t use a door inside the house instead, he responded that his bedroom door was locked and tied shut.

Police also noticed a large gash on the boy’s head. They spoke with the boy’s mother and stepfather, then inspected his bedroom, but found nothing to support his account.

The neighbor who called police after noticing the boy drinking from her garden hose said she believes the boy is malnourished and dehydrated from neglect and abuse at the hands of his mother and stepfather.

Shortly after finding the boy, she brought him inside her house and sat him down at her kitchen table, where he hastily began eating bananas. ∫She then noticed the blood coming from the gash on his head.

At St. Elizabeth Health Center, where the boy was transported via ambulance for treatment, nurses found marks on the boy’s back, some of which were ulcers that developed from inactivity, they said.

When questioned, the boy told police that he was attempting to smuggle a glass of soapy water into his bedroom to drink later in the night when he was discovered by his stepfather, who yelled at him, took the water and kicked him in the middle of the back.

He added that he is regularly not allowed to drink or eat.

Children services, who put the boy in temporary custody of a maternal relative, still is looking into the case, and a caseworker has been assigned. No one has been charged.

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