LAWRENCE, Kan. - A suburban Chicago couple is behind bars and their five children are in protective custody after two of them were discovered blindfolded and with their limbs bound in the parking lot of a Walmart in eastern Kansas, police said Thursday.
The parents from Northlake, Ill., are each charged with two counts of child abuse and five counts of child endangerment. The charges are felonies. The father, 52, also faces one count of obstruction.
Bonds for both parents were set at $50,000.
Responding to a call from a concerned shopper Wednesday, police visited the store and spotted a 5-year-old boy sitting on the ground beside an SUV with his hands tied behind his back, his legs bound, and a blindfold covering his eyes. As an officer approached the car, he noticed a man standing near the vehicle.
“When [the man] saw the officer, he tried to get away from him,’’ Lawrence police spokesman Sergeant Trent McKinley said. The man ducked inside the vehicle and the officer, concerned that the man could be reaching for a weapon, used a stun gun and put him in handcuffs, McKinley said.
A 7-year-old girl was found inside the vehicle, also bound and blindfolded, along with three other children, ages 12, 13, and 15, who were not restrained.
Officers found the children’s mother inside the Walmart and arrested her, McKinley said. He said he does not know why the children were tied up and blindfolded.