Couple arrested for chained teen boy

December 4, 2008 5:03:32 PM PST
A teenager walked into a gym Monday night bruised, emaciated, and begging for help. He had a chain locked to his ankle. The 16-year-old told people at a health club in Tracy that he had just escaped his captors.

He claims to have been held against his will after running away from a foster home in Sacramento last year.

A lot of shocked neighbors gathered around the house, after finding out the boy who they only saw taking out the garbage is claiming he was enslaved, at that home for nearly a year.

Tracy Police say the boy told them he ran away from a group foster home in Sacramento in 2007. The boy, after running into the gym, was taken to a hospital to recuperate. Meanwhile, investigators questioned the couple Michael Schumacher, 34, and his wife Kelly Laur, 30; they face five charges - including torture, kidnapping, false imprisonment, child endangerment and corporal injury to a child.

Around 3:30 p.m. on Monday, they say an emaciated, 16-year-old boy ran into the In-Shape City Sports Club, on South Tracy Blouvard. It backs up to the home on Tennis Lane.

An assistant manager says he was dirty, wearing nothing but oversized boxer shorts, and he had a thick chain around his ankle. He said "Hide me, hide me, they're coming to get me." They called the police and fed him a banana and some water, which he put down in just a few seconds.

"It was around his ankle. There was a pad lock around the chain around his ankle, with a chain that was about another two feet that he was holding as he was running. A member did see him, not jump, but kind of fall over a big wall and then she saw him hop all the way in here. He was just terrified. He had a couple bruises. He had a dry cut on his head, one on his back that was kind of gushing blood, but it had dried up, so maybe it happened earlier today. He had another big gouge on his arm," said Lea Leonardo, the assistant general manager of In-Shape.

"My grand kids say he has bruises, wore worn out clothes all the time. He was always doing chores for everybody, never really being a kid, like he's supposed to be," said Mike Portillo, a neighbor.

Portillo, the neighbor across the street, says the Schumachers told him the boy was the son of a friend and they were taking care of him.

They have two young daughters, and Portillo says his granddaughters occasionally played with them. The girls said the boy slept in the laundry room on a towel and said one time Lau forced him to eat a dead fly.

Now, the couple's daughters are with child protective services, and the parents will be arrested after questioning.

A lot of details have yet to come out in this very disturbing story.


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