Florida Couple Were Arrested For Allegedly Beating A 5-Year-Old Boy And Fleeing On A 4-wheeler

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A woman and her live-in boyfriend have been charged with a “brutal pattern of child neglect, abuse, and torture” on multiple children, including allegedly forcing one of them to swallow boiling water.

A woman and her boyfriend have been accused of child neglect, abuse, and torture. (Photo: Volusia County Sheriff’s Office)

 

The alleged instances were discovered during the course of an inquiry into a related abuse case. Shawn M. Stone, 32, was arrested on May 9 after allegedly beating another victim, a 5-year-old boy, with a mop handle before fleeing on a 4-wheeler, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. The child’s mother, Taylor B. Schaefer, 28, filed an abuse report.

“The case began when Schaefer called 911 to report that she had a ‘gut feeling’ that her live-in boyfriend, Stone, was abusing the victim, then checked the video footage and confirmed it,” deputies posted on Facebook.

However, officials stated that other evidence proved that Schaefer was aware of Stone’s abuse of the 5-year-old — that she witnessed it and still frequently failed to intervene or report it.

Video surveillance from inside the house was purportedly used as evidence. The tape was recovered by investigators on May 9, when Stone was arrested for the first time. Interviews with victims and witnesses are also mentioned.

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“Ultimately, the investigation revealed multiple recordings of the victim receiving beatings while Schaefer was present in the house, as well as several instances where he was visibly injured and limping in her presence, but received no care or medical attention,” officials stated. “On the day that Schaefer did report the abuse, the video showed her mopping up the area where the victim was beaten with the mop handle.”

Deputies said the video showed the youngster chained with his hands behind his back for hours at a time in the days preceding the incident.

In another instance, his hands were bound behind his back beginning at 6:43 p.m. Authorities believe that the incident occurred during the night and into the next day at 2:02 p.m.

“On another occasion, his legs, feet, arms, and torso were bound for at least an hour while Stone stood over him,” according to deputies.

According to the sheriff’s office, the video shows Stone yelling and kicking the already bruised and injured youngster. Schaefer is said to have entered the scene and told the child to stand up straight. According to the video, the noises of the abuse reverberated throughout the house.

Deputies stated the 5-year-old had dozens of injuries, with medics noting that at least 46 of those injuries were visible. Internal injuries, including a cracked skull, were also reported for the boy.

“In addition to the abuse captured on video, the victim was tied up and placed in a dog cage, and was frequently punished through food deprivation,” deputies stated.

Deputies also reported two other victims, one of which was a youngster who was allegedly forced to consume boiling hot liquid.

“It was also determined that another child in the home was forced to drink boiling water, was sprayed with boiling water, and was beaten with several household objects,” police added. “That child also witnessed the brutal abuse inflicted on the younger victim.”

A third youngster in the residence did not receive sufficient nutrition or care for a critical medical condition, investigators said, in addition to seeing the younger victim’s assault.

Stone faces allegations of serious child abuse, neglect inflicting great physical harm, and failure to report child abuse, abandonment, or neglect. He is being detained without bond.

Deputies say Schaefer was arrested late Sunday night in Pasco County on warrants. Her name does not appear on the jail’s or Volusia County’s records.

The children were removed from their home and placed in what deputies described as a “safe environment.”

Sheriff Mike Chitwood of Volusia County tweeted a link to a GoFundMe page to help the youngsters.

“It’s difficult to imagine the torture these children endured,” he remarked. “The good news is that they’re in safe hands now, and their scumbag abusers will have to answer for what they did.”

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