When Kenneth Haley’s young son went to school Thursday, officials there saw signs the boy might be suffering from abuse, police said in a release posted on Facebook Tuesday.
Police say that led the school resource deputy to talk to the boy, and to enlist the investigative assistance of the Florida Department of Children and Families. The boy attends Westside Elementary School in Glenn St. Mary, Florida, according to WSB-TV2.
He had bruising above his left eye and behind his ear, police say, as well as a cut on the left side of his forehead.
While talking to the boy, officials learned that he was suffering “severe” abuse from his father and grandmother Carmen Yeomas, police say. According to the press release from the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, the alleged mistreatment included Haley tying down the boy at night so he wouldn’t eat.
“The child had several injuries to his body, some of them very serious and in need of medical attention,” police wrote.
Police say there was additional evidence of the abuse at the boy’s home, from which four other children between the ages of 3 and 7 were removed. Authorities arrested Yeomans and Haley, who had already violated probation for a previous charge of child neglect, in connection to the alleged abuse, according to the press release.
Haley faces charges of child abuse, while Yeomans is charged with child neglect, ActionsNewsJax reported a police report as saying.
The Florida Department of Children and Families took custody of the children, police say.
Rebecca Rhynehardt, whose child went to the same school as the abused boy, said the incident shocked her, according to WSB-TV2.
“I was in disbelief, for sure, because I know for me with my child I’m very protective over him,” she said, “so I don’t know what goes through people’s minds.”