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A Connecticut man was arrested last week after allegedly forcing his stepson to step on thumbtacks, drink hot sauce until his puked, and live in a locked laundry room for months.
Kevin Grant, 31, allegedly began abusing his stepson in June after one of the boy’s siblings got hurt while playing, according to an arrest warrant acquired by Oxygen.com. The stepson had been watching TV in the living room when his younger brother fell and struck his head on a glass table, the stepson told authorities. The children’s mother, Kaitlin Baptiste, then took the injured boy to the hospital, and when Grant got home he allegedly beat his stepson severely with a belt before grabbing him by the neck and throwing him across the room.
The stepson told authorities he was then made to stand in a corner for a week with his head facing the wall, according to the warrant. He allegedly wasn’t allowed to sit down even to eat, and at night, Grant allegedly made the boy sleep by himself either in the garage or in a trailer the family owned.
After roughly a week, Grant allowed his stepson to come back inside — but for the next four months, he allegedly made him stay in a locked laundry room, letting him out only to eat, use the bathroom, and do schoolwork, according to the warrant.
During this time, Grant’s abuse allegedly continued to escalate. The stepson claimed that at times, Grant forced him to drink cups of hot sauce until he vomited, and then made him eat his own vomit. He also accused Grant of making him stand on a ladder with one foot while Grant placed thumbtacks on the ladder’s steps and on the floor. The boy claimed when he couldn’t hold his foot up any longer, he was forced to step onto the tacks, causing his foot to bleed.
He also accused Grant of placing a bottle rocket inside his mouth and igniting it, forcing the boy to kneel on uncooked rice for an entire day, and making him do push-ups until he couldn’t move his arm, according to the warrant.
Following contact with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, the stepson, his mother, and two of his siblings left their house in early October to live with the stepson’s grandmother.
Social workers confirmed that a bed had been set up in the laundry room and that the stepson didn’t appear to have any other bedroom in the house, according to the warrant. They also confirmed that the boy had scars on his cheeks, apparently caused by the exploded bottle rocket.
None of the four other children in the house appeared to have experienced abuse, according to the warrant.
Both Grant and his wife were arrested on Oct. 14. Grant was charged with risk of injury to a minor, second-degree assault, intentional cruelty to persons, reckless endangerment, and disorderly conduct, according to a press arrest log uploaded by the Naugatuck Police Department. Baptiste, who allegedly knew of the abuse but did nothing to stop it, was charged with risk of injury to a child, conspiracy to commit cruelty to persons, conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct and second-degree reckless endangerment.
Grant was placed under $25,000 bond, while Baptiste was held on $10,000 bond, according to the log. They have since posted bail and their next court date is set for Nov. 10, Connecticut newspaper The Hartford Courant reports.
The family’s neighbors expressed disbelief that these alleged acts could have happened in their neighborhood.
“You hear about it on TV, stuff like that happening elsewhere, but not in a quiet place like this,” neighbor Les Rager told local outlet WFSB.
It’s not clear whether Grant or Baptiste has an attorney who can comment on their behalf.
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