Mon November 18, 2013
$500K Bond For Couple Accused Of Handcuffing Child
Bond was set for about $500,000 each for the Monroe couple charged with child abuse for allegedly handcuffing an 11-year-old boy by the ankle to their front porch. Dorian Harper and Wanda Larson -- a supervisor in the county's department of social services -- had their first court appearance in front of a Union County judge Monday morning. On Friday, an animal control officer found the child while responding to a complaint about a loose animal. While looking for the animal, he followed a trail that led to the child's secluded home. Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey says the officer was shocked by what he saw.
"When he walked around the corner of the house, he saw a child handcuffed to the railing of the porch," Cathey says. "Sitting there in jeans and t-shirt, shivering, with a chicken, a dead chicken, tied around his neck."
Fifty-seven-year-old Dorian Harper opened the door and the officer began questioning him about the child. But during questioning, one of the other children opened a door and Doberman pincher dogs attacked the officer. The officer retreated to his vehicle and called for back-up. When officers arrived, they removed the children from the home and Harper was arrested and brought to police headquarters.
The 11-year-old boy was a foster-child living in the home. The other four children ages 8, 9, 13 and 14 were adopted by the couple.
In addition, police charged Wanda Larson, who is a child protective services supervisor, with failure to perform her duty as a public official and the Department of Social Services put her on suspension. Records also show she was suspended in May 2012. But details are unknown.
The State Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing the county's child welfare program. The next court date is set for January 7.