Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Man found locked in a room in family's home

Chandler, Texas — Authorities in eastern Texas say the family of an intellectually disabled relative were keeping him locked in a room in their home so as to keep him from stealing their food. As reported by the Associated Press, Kerry Cotten, who is estimated to be in his 40's, was found emaciated in a "filthy" room wearing an adult diaper that was "hanging to his knees" by Chandler police officers a during a visit to the home to serve an outstanding warrant for another resident. Upon being released from the room, Mr Cotton, it is said, ran to the kitchen and tried to eat frozen bacon and a tv dinner through the box.

Mr Cotten's sister, Lea Johnson, her husband Roy Johnson and their daughter Alyssia Johnson were arrested on Friday and charged with injury to the disabled. Alyssia's 19-year-old boyfriend, who lives next door, was also arrested on a charge of failing to report a felony.

Mr Cotten was taken to a hospital and later placed in the custody of Adult Protective Services.

An APS spokeswoman confirmed that APS is conducting an investigation but declined to provide details, citing privacy concerns. She also said that a call concerning the residence was made to the statewide hotline in 2005, but it dealt with the building's condition and not an individual.

Injury to the disabled is a first-degree felony that carries a prison term of five to 99 years.

The story in full is here. See also Police describe living conditions as filthy, abusive