GRAPHIC: Boy forced to kneel on uncooked rice, hold firework in mouth until it exploded, police say
NAUGATUCK, Conn. (WFSB) - Police in Connecticut arrested the mother and stepfather of a young boy on accusations of abuse and torture, including forcing the victim to drink hot sauce until he vomited, having him kneel on uncooked rice and locking him in the laundry room for months.
Investigators say 31-year-old Kevin Grant abused and tormented the son of 29-year-old Kaitlin Baptiste for months and that Baptiste didn’t stop it. Both were arrested Oct. 16 on a number of charges.
“It just broke my heart that this child is scarred for life, so I pray that somebody comes along and takes that whatever he endured in his home, where he’s supposed to feel safe, he overcomes this as he grows up,” said neighbor Gina Palmieri.
The investigation began when the Department of Children and Families got an anonymous complaint at the beginning of the month, but the victim told them the abuse dates all the way back to June.
According to the boy, Grant allegedly made him sleep in a locked laundry room for months and that his stepfather and mother would only let him out to use the bathroom.
Other reported punishments include being forced to drink hot sauce to the point of throwing up, standing on sharp tacks causing his feet to bleed on kneeling on uncooked rice “that would stick to his legs and hurt for days afterwards.”
When investigators noticed a scar on the boy’s check, he allegedly told them Grant made him put a firework in his mouth and light it. He says he was made to hold the bottle rocket in his own mouth until it exploded.
Grant is said to have told the DCF worker that the victim was only put in the laundry room as punishment for playing too roughly with his siblings. In June, one of the siblings received treatment at the hospital for an injury sustained while playing. The victim said he was blamed for the injury despite denying it.
Police say Baptiste initially told investigators she didn’t know about the alleged abuse because she’s often at work and isn’t home with the kids. However, the boy told investigators otherwise.
“That’s her child she bore. How dare she do something like that to her little child,” Palmieri said.
The victim and his siblings have been moved to their grandmother’s house.
Both Grant and Baptiste are out on bond and due in court next month.
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