Bail set for foster parents accused of handcuffing boy to porch

Nov. 18, 2013 at 4:07 PM
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MONROE, N.C., Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A North Carolina couple accused of routinely handcuffing an 11-year-old foster child to their front porch appeared in court Monday and had their bail set.

Dorian Harper and Wanda Larson were arrested Friday and charged with intentional child abuse inflicting serious injury, false imprisonment and animal cruelty, The Charlotte Observer reported.

Larson, a child protective services supervisor for the Union County's Department of Social Services, is charged with willful failure to discharge her duty as a public official and has been suspended from her job.

The charges against the two were made after a Union County sheriff's deputy found the 11-year-old boy handcuffed by his ankles to the couple's porch Friday while responding to another call. The boy also had a dead chicken tied to him, the deputy said.

Two neighbors said Sunday that the boy had showed up at their homes and begged for food. Both neighbors said they were unaware of the boy being handcuffed to the porch, saying the house isn't visible from the street.

One neighbor, who asked to not have her name published, said that when the boy showed up at her house, she fed him a sandwich and offered to take him home, to which he answered: "No. I want to stay here."

The woman's daughter called authorities and a sheriff's deputy came out, spoke with the boy, and took him home. "He didn't refuse. He just went with her," the neighbor said.

In court Monday, a judge ordered a $500,000 secured bond for Harper and a $520,000 secured bond for Larson, WSOC-TV, Charlotte, reported. Both suspects requested court-appointed attorneys.

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