Anaheim police arrested Loi Vu and Tracy Trang Le Tuesday night after receiving an anonymous tip about their son's living conditions. Police are unsure how long the 11-year-old was kept caged, saying evidence points to "time ranges from years to hours."
"We did develop some information during our preliminary investigation last night that indicated to us that because of some of the outbursts that occur because of his autism, that the family was having difficulty coping with that and controlling that," Anaheim Police Lt. Bob Dunn told local reporters.
"Putting him in that cage may have been a way for them to try to, in their way, control what was going on."
Dunn emphasized that there was no evidence of other abuse and it appeared the boy was otherwise well taken care of.
"In this particular case, placing your child in a cage to try and control some behavior may not have been the best course of action ... and out of this may come soon good," Dunn added. "Maybe this family will get some of the assistance that they need."
For now, Vu and Le are in police custody, facing felony charges for child endangerment and false imprisonment. The autistic boy and his two siblings are being cared for by child protective services.