CLERMONT, Fla. — A lake county resident was arrested last weekend with charges of both child neglect and child abuse.
The victim was found in his step-father’s care, residing in a roach-infested home that was reported to be covered in cat feces, fleas, maggots, and flies.
The man responsible for the boy at this time was confined to a bed and not able to walk more than a few feet in distance.
As law enforcement spoke with the defendant, he remained barefoot as cockroaches crawled up his legs. Flies surrounded his face as he spoke and the smells within the home were repulsive.
When taken into custody, the boy reported that his stepfather would not allow him to bathe or brush his teeth due to no running water and that he was reportedly beaten with a belt when he attempted to clean up their porch or filth within the residence.
The boy’s living conditions included bug and feces covered bed sheets, cockroaches the home, and repetitive abuse and bullying from his step-father.
Due to odor and lingering bugs, the boy’s school allowed him a bathing area and clean clothes.
Before cleaning up at school each morning, the teachers and classmates could not go near him due to the smell.
Upon inspection, the home contained fifteen cats with one of them being deceased in the laundry room and the cabinet drawers. Additional cats were found trapped within the home walls and have yet to be retrieved.
The defendant was not arrested on scene due to first needing proper decontamination, but he has now been taken into custody and charged with child abuse and neglect.