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Sheriff’s: Florida boy kept handcuffed in closet for 16 hours a day for weeks

(The AEGIS Alliance) – TAMPA, FLORIDA Two Florida residents have been arrested after investigators found a boy was allegedly left handcuffed inside a closet for hours at a time as a form of punishment since December.

Deputies with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department responded to a home in Tampa on a report of a missing youngster on Sunday, January 24 at 5:53 a.m. according to a press release by the sheriff’s department on Monday.

Deputies stated they discovered the boy had been hiding inside the house. After responding to the call, sheriff’s deputies returned to the residence to look into potential child abuse.

“The boy told deputies he has been handcuffed and forced to stand in a closet as a punishment,” the sheriff’s department said. “The boy said this ‘punishment’ has been happening every day for about 16 hours a day for the past few weeks.”

Detectives stated 41-year-old John Hernandez, confessed to handcuffing the boy and placing him inside a closet from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. as a form of punishment for “behavioral issues.”

37-year-old Natasha Dabbs told detectives she knew about the punishment, however, mentioned she didn’t attempt to stop it. Dabbs said to investigators that the punishment had been occurring since December 25, 2020.

Hernandez has been arrested and is facing charges of aggravated child abuse of malicious punishment. Dabbs has also been arrested and charged with child neglect and failure to report the abuse.

For the victim’s protection, the sheriff’s office is not going to release the boy’s identity, age, or relationship to the suspects.

Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Kyle James Lee

Majority Owner of The AEGIS Alliance. I studied in college for Media Arts, Game Development. Talents include Writer/Article Writer, Graphic Design, Photoshop, Web Design and Development, Video Production, Social Media, and eCommerce.

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