TITUSVILLE, Fla. – A Brevard County father and his girlfriend were arrested Thursday on allegations of caging the man's 12-year-old son -- who weighs 40 pounds -- in a closet and keeping him locked in a bathroom for weeks at a time.
Michael Marshal, the boy's father and his girlfriend Sharon Glass were arrested on three counts of aggravated child abuse (unlawful caging of a child) and aggravated child neglect.
Titusville police said officers went to a home around 6:30 p.m. after receiving a report of child abuse and found the boy locked in a bathroom and lying on the floor.
Police said an investigation shows that the boy had been caged in a closet, strapped to a bed or locked in a bathroom for days or weeks at a time over the last year.
The boy, who was severely emaciated, was treated for dehydration and malnutrition and later released from a hospital, police said.
Marshal and Glass arrived home while police were conducting an investigation, and police said they confessed to caging and punishing the boy, including denying him food.
The couple said they punished the boy because he began stealing food after it was being withheld from him, according to Titusville police.
There were four other children and two adults in the home, police said. Department of Children and Families said the children were ages 5-12 and taken into protective custody.
DCF said they had contact with the family in August 2010 regarding the same boy, whose 13th birthday is next week. Records show the child was withdrawn from school after the agency's investigation.