Reporting Elizabeth Hur
By Elizabeth Hur
CAMDEN, N.J., (CBS) — A Camden mother and her boyfriend have been arrested for chaining the woman’s 10-year-old son to a radiator for two weeks.
Police say the boy’s mother called police shortly after 3:30 p.m. on Monday to report that her 10-year-old son had run away. A neighbor located the child a short time later.
Tuesday night, new surveillance video emerged showing the boy’s run from the alleged abuse at home. The video shows the young boy running to a store, clinging onto the metal railing, resisting the man trying to get him home. That man was his neighbor, Samuel Alamo.
“He was scared but I didn’t know if he was scared because of his mom or because of the police?” Alamo recalled.
The 18-year-old high school senior says he was on his way home when he saw the 10-year-old dart out of his home in the 2700 block of Cramer Street.
Alamo said, “He ran from his from mom. She asked me to grab him. When I went to grab him, he started running. All he kept telling me was, I don’t want to go back home, they don’t feed me, they don’t give me anything, so I just pretty much called the cops.”
When officers met the child, he told them he was chained in his mother’s bedroom as punishment and had to sleep on the floor at night. He also told police his hands were occasionally restrained by plastic zip ties.
A search of the boy’s home revealed a metal chain and lock that was used to restrain the boy. The chain was attached to a radiator pipe in the bedroom.
Thirty-one-year-old Florence Pollard and her boyfriend, Brian L. Craig, of Blackwood, were arrested and charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child, 2nd degree and Criminal Restraint, 3rd degree. Pollard was remanded to the county jail on bail of $50,000 cash or bond. Craig was remanded to the county jail on bail of $50,000 cash.
Police say the boy and his five siblings – two sisters and three brothers ranging in age from 11 to 7 months – were taken into custody by the NJ Division of Child Protection and Permanency.
“To treat a child this way is inhuman,” said Sgt. Janell Simpson, supervisor of the CCPD Special Victims Unit, in a release. “He could have been seriously injured or died had this continued, so to get this child and his brothers and sisters out of that environment was critical. We will continue the investigation to determine if there have been other abuses.”
Authorities continue to investigate the case. Meanwhile police credit Alamo’s vigilance and ask that all neighbors call 911 when in need.
Alamo said, “You just don’t think anyone would do that to their own child? Feels good to know somebody is somewhere where he is going to be safe now.”