Neighbors, co-workers speak about Waiters

December 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
A fourth suspect in that disturbing child abuse case in Tracy, is expected to be formally charged in court on Thursday. He is accused of the same horrible crimes as his neighbors.

29-year-old Anthony Waiters was a coach for the Tracy Cougars, a little league football team that won their conference championship this past weekend.

Parents associated with the team say coaches must pass a background check with the Department of Justice. Our own criminal background check on Waiters turned up nothing, but police accuse him of torturing and beating a 16-year-old boy next door.

The neighbors: Mike Schumacher, his wife Kelly Lau and Caren Rameriz, the guardian of the boy, are accused of beating, starving, and forcing the boy to crouch in the fire place while chained up.

"Why?" said Rachel Portillo, a neighbor.
"How did they come up with that so fast? That's crazy!" said Mike Portillo, a neighbor.

The reaction was the same from every one ABC7 spoke with who knew Waiters. He played defensive tackle for a minor league team called the Manteca Thundercats and his former manager remembers him as a decent guy. He says Waiters' brother, Rodney also played on the team and the brother was emphatic about his brother's innocence.

"You all got his name all over the f---ing news. Leave him the f--- out of it, and get off his momma's property," said Rodney Waiters.

Waiters also worked down the street from his home as a bouncer, at the Maxim Bar and Restaurant. The manager here describes him as "Nice. A good employee who was good with people."

About two weeks ago, employees say he brought his little league football team and their parents to the restaurant for a party. By all accounts, Anthony Waiters was clean.

Yesterday, detectives removed several items from the home where Waiters lives with his mother. Some of the items included a bottle of bleach and a computer. The items left neighbors wondering what, if any, police believe his motive was to participate in these unthinkable acts.


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