By Elio Gugliotti, Editor
NAUGATUCK — A borough couple is facing multiple charges in connection with a suspected case of child abuse police say involved forcing a child to sleep in a laundry room and drink hot sauce.
Police arrested Kevin Grant, 31, and Kaitlin Elizabeth Baptiste, 29, on a warrant Friday as a result of an investigation that started Oct. 1 when the state Department of Children and Families received an anonymous complaint that a child was being locked in a laundry room.
The victim told authorities that the alleged punishments followed an incident in June when a younger sibling fell and “cracked his head open” while playing, according to Grant’s arrest warrant. The victim said he was blamed for the incident and that Grant hit him repeatedly with a belt.
The punishments continued, police say. According to the warrant, the victim told authorities he was forced to stand in a corner and face the wall for a week.
On the night his sibling was hurt, the victim stated Grant made him sleep in a trailer outside and the garage. Then he was forced to sleep in the laundry room for four months, the warrant states.
Authorities noted that there was a small mattress with bedding in the laundry room.
Grant told a DCF worker he only put the child in the laundry room as punishment because he can get physical with his siblings, the warrant states.
According to police, the victim was also forced to kneel on uncooked rice, drink hot sauce and do push-ups until he couldn’t move his arms. He was also forced to stand on a ladder, which had tacks on the steps and under it, with one foot in the air. The victim told authorities when he couldn’t hold his foot up any longer he had to step on the tacks.
Police say Baptiste was aware of the abuse.
The victim and two other juveniles home when authorities investigated on Oct. 1 were taken to a family member’s house.
Grant and Baptiste declined to be interviewed by police, according to the warrant.
Police charged Grant with risk of injury to a child, second-degree assault, intentional cruelty to persons, disorderly conduct and second-degree reckless endangerment. Police held him on a $25,000 bond, which he posted after appearing Oct. 19 in Waterbury Superior Court.
Baptiste is facing risk of injury to a child, second-degree reckless endangerment and conspiracy charges. Police held her on a $10,000 bond, which she posted after appearing Oct. 19 in court.
Grant and Baptiste are scheduled to appear in court again Nov. 10.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include information from an arrest warrant.