Mother of three is arrested after 10-year-old boy is found chained up in apartment courtyard
By Ashley Collman Daily Mail PUBLISHED:20 July 2013
A mother was trying to keep her son out of trouble but ended up getting arrested instead for restraining the 10-year-old in chains while she went to work.
Neighbors found the boy outside his apartment with chain wrapped four or five times around his ankles and locked with a master lock, with both of his legs forced through one leg of his shorts.
Neighbors Katherine Reyes and her mother spotted the boy, and said he struggled to hop.
They asked where he was going, and he said he was going to a friend’s house to remove his restraints.
When police arrived at the complex around 11:40 a.m. they found the boy crying in pain.
They cut the chain off and found slight bruising and redness around the child’s ankles.
‘She basically left him in his underwear with the chain around his feet. She took the lock with her, but she left him food; she left him games to play with,’ Santa Ana police Cpl Anthony Bretagna told NBC Los Angeles.
The boy’s mother, Irma Jacobo Navarro, 37, who was at her janitor job, was arrested on charges of willful cruelty to a child.
Navarro has two other sons, a 6-year-old who was with a babysitter and a 16-year-old who was at school when the 10-year-old was locked up.
Navarro was scared he would join a gang and he had been getting into trouble – he was caught breaking doors and windows in nearby apartment buildings.
‘She’s trying to do the right thing, but he’s not cooperating,’ Bretagna said.
‘He gets frustrated, cusses at her,’ he said. ‘She feels like she’s losing control of him, so this is basically a last resort.’
All three children were placed with social services.