Boy tied up at night to prevent him from eating, authorities say

GLEN ST. MARY, Fla. — The Sheriff’s Office in Baker County, Florida, said an observant teacher raised the alarm, leading to the arrest of two people in a case of child abuse.

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Deputies said a father is accused of tying a boy up at night to keep him from eating. They say his mother knew about it and didn't intervene.

According to the arrest report, the boy goes to Westside Elementary School in Glenn St. Mary.

Thursday, the BCSO said his teacher noticed he had a cut and bruises on the left side of his face and immediately reported it to the school resource deputy.

“It is inhumane to me,” Sheriff Scotty Rhoden said of the case. “That’s just terrible, [the] things that they were doing to him.”

Rhoden said the boy had several injuries, some of them serious and requiring medical attention. He said the boy would be tied up at night in order to prevent him from eating.

Parents of the boy’s peers at Westside Elementary are horrified.

“I was in disbelief, for sure, because I know for me with my child I’m very protective over him, so I don’t know what goes through people’s minds,” said parent Rebecca Rhynehardt.

Deputies said the father, 39-year-old Kenneth Haley, would tie the boy up. The Sheriff’s Office said he’s facing child abuse charges, and that he was already on probation for a child neglect charge out of Jackson County.

They said the grandmother, 59-year-old Carmen Yeomans, knew and did nothing, so she’s charged with child neglect.


"It's horrifying to think that any child would be treated that way," said Baker County Superintendent Sherrie Raulerson. "It's just unimaginable for us."

Baker County deputies and workers with the Florida Department of Children and Families descended on the home in Sanderson, Florida, removing the victim and three other children.

Their ages range from 3 to 7 years old. The BCSO said they're safe in the care of DCF.

Haley is being held without bond, while Yeoman’s bond is $50,000.