Man arrested for chaining teen to weights

May 19th, 2011 by Staff

DESOTO COUNTY, FL - A man who had chained a 14-year-old to a set of weights was arrested in DeSoto County Tuesday.

Deputies got a call about the girl, described as a habitual runaway, around noon.

They found her on NE Lea Avenue with a 12-15 foot chain attached with padlocks to a 35-lb dumbbell and two 25-lb plates.

Deputies cut the chain off the girl’s leg. She was not injured in the incident.

She told them Oscar Ruiz put the chain on her leg and left her at home Monday night so he could go to work.

Deputies contacted Ruiz, who allegedly told them he had to work out of town and didn’t know what else to do with the girl.

He reportedly said he could not find anyone to leave the girl with and he was desperate to keep her from running away again.

“I can’t believe parents would do that to their kids,” said neighbor Deborah Harrison. “I’m totally shocked.”

Deputies say they couldn’t believe it either.

“I’ve never seen anybody get chained to an 85-pound weight before,” said DeSoto County Sheriff William Wise. “He’s a single parent. He thought he was doing the right thing and it landed him in jail.”

The child is in the custody of the Manatee County Juvenile Detention Facility in connection with a prior battery case.


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