Toddler Found In Cage, Father Arrested

By: Amanda Crum - November 13, 2012

When a concerned neighbor heard a small child crying outside for over twenty minutes on a cold day, he took it upon himself to investigate. Lucky he did, because what he found was a naked four-year old boy outside his home, exposed to the elements and crying to be let into the house.

After knocking on the door and getting no response, he called police, who later found the child’s father passed out on a mixture of prescription drugs and alcohol, and two more children inside the home. One, a toddler, was locked inside a dog cage. The child was covered in feces.

47-year old William Todd Lewallen was unresponsive when officers first came into the home, a horrifying thought for any parent who knows what can happen to three small children left unattended.

“He was asleep and he couldn’t have rescued those kids if anything had happened to them or if they were injured,” said TPD Child Crisis investigator Corporal Greg Smith.

Officials are commending neighbor Matt Testerman for stepping in, saying many people probably wouldn’t have gotten themselves involved.

“He was shaking … and I’m not going to leave that boy out here to freeze. It made me cry real bad, I’ve got babies, too and I’ve heard horror stories, but I’ve never seen it in real life,” said Testerman.

The Tulsa father was promptly arrested as the mother of the children came home from work; she hasn’t been charged with anything. Lewallen, however, was taken into custody and is being held on $50,000 bail. The children are safe in protective custody, awaiting a hearing which will determine whether they will be allowed to return home to their mother. – Tulsa, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports – |

Image: NewsOn6

Amanda Crum

About the Author

Amanda CrumAmanda Crum is a writer and artist from Kentucky. She's a fan of Edward Gorey, Hunter S. Thompson, and horror movies. You can follow her on Google:+Amanda Crum

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  • Angela Badgett

    This is the stuff of nightmares. I myself was once addicted to prescription drugs, but my children remained a priority and were never neglected. I cannot imagine the level of drugs he was taking to lead to this horrible situation. Thank God in heaven I got out of the drug life and my boys are now graduating from college and high school. I cannot imagine EVER getting so deep into drugs that my children suffered in such a way, though I am not claiming perfection by any means. Just as a former addict, even I am asking what in the H— kind of line do you have to cross as an addict to reach this point? I fully accept blame for my wrong actions, but even I am flabbergasted and befuddled on this one. As a parent, the choice between my children’s needs and my need for a fix was a no-brainer. Not even a former addict like me would make an excuse for this total loser. Take comfort those of you who have never used: If that a-hole is locked up he is in such miserable withdrawals right now, he is in a living h— that a non-abuser could never imagine. If you can take comfort in anything from this story, take it from me in this: Withdrawals are a form of living H___ and this low-life is suffering it now even as you read this.

  • Angela Badgett

    PS- MATT TESTERMAN: YOU ARE A HERO!!!!! PEOPLE: Get involved!!!!!

    • barbara kloppenburg

      there are so many foster children that need loving homes.

      my lesson learned – seek out if you hear a cry from a child or an animal – extend your hand – seek out and do the best you can to help another being!!!!

      Having said that – the two individuals need to be in jail for quite awhile!

      Stupidity is no excuse!!!

  • Susan

    I find it hard to believe that the mother had no knowledge about her husband’s behavior (alcoholic, drug abuser)…. Leaving her children in his care is another form of child abuse! Do they even have pets, or was the dog cage the “playpen” for the kid(s)…..

  • May B. Imrite

    Thank God a neighbor wasn’t afraid to get involved!! Great job!
    As for the father, leave him in jail. He isn’t worth a dime. He needs to address his issues. As for mom, well she would have to admit to herself first that her husband is an addict before she can admit that she put her kids’ in harm’s way.

  • Erin

    Twenty monutes? If I hear a child outside crying, I look immeadiatly. Dob’t get me wrong I am glad he got involved, but what took so long? I hope the dad rots in prison and the kids stay in a safe place.

  • Laura

    Let him stay locked in a small cage like his 18 monthe daughter was. The mother must of known that the father had a problem with alchohol. It is not for me to say or judge, but # 1 thoroughly investigate the mother to see if she should have the children back or would they be better off in a good foster home. If the foster home is the best I would hope they are not split up. Whatever the case God bless and keep them safe.

    • sara

      PLease, do not give these children back to these parents…

  • cindy n

    God does work out things that are bad for good-how would anyone found the other kids ?But REALLY who would NOT help a child in that stressful situation-why do they keep saying that????

  • Diane Robinson

    I comment on this society that put animals first instead of putting childred first to safety they puts animals. This should be some arrest
    for what they done.

  • Vickie

    Are we supposed to believe that when the mom walked in the door from work that these children were miraculously cleaned up, dressed, and fed and looked well cared for? I hardly think so. I am sure that drunk did this type of thing on a daily basis and I can bet that the mom was fully aware of it (and if she wasn’t she’s an idiot). She should be in jail with him! I hope these children are not returned to these sorry excuse for parents.

  • e5eay


  • Christine Viveros

    “Love thy Neighbor”. Sometimes we tend to stay in our little warm homes and shut our eyes to unpleasant neighbors. Be friendly, observe our neighbors well-being and offer help. You don’t have to be nosey (just friendly).

    • H. Campbell

      Too often, we don’t know when to get involved and when to stay out of a given situation. So we do nothing. However, there can be a sensible alternative. Be observant, be polite & friendly, and see if you can offer help. I guess that’s really all anyone can do.

  • Syd

    Both parents need to be jailed! She left her children with a parent who clearly isn’t responsible. Ignorance is not an excuse, we know our spouse’s habits and she didn’t care for the childrens safety on leaving them with him. There I said it…

  • Susan

    WTF; both parents need to be jailed.

  • http://yahoo sandra

    personally both need to be locked up together in the same cell-and discuss what they need to do to be the kind of parents they need to be for these children-then took out and horse-whipped!!!!!!!!!! what a piece of crap they both are-dam sure she knew!! kids need to be put together in a foster home-maybe with relatives,and put in counseling-so they wont be as messed up as their parents.

  • http://WebProLife Virginia

    Lock him in 1 dog cage, her in another and see if they can take the cold !!!!!!!They aught to be shot .

  • Karen

    The sad truth is these children will probably be placed in foster care with parents who will be required to follow strict rules, will be subjected to judgement of every aspect of their lives, will have to attend regular court dates, visitation with the biological parents, be available for monthly home visits, and a number of other invasions of their personal lives while falling in love with these children. And then the children will be placed back into the home of biological parents who have to do “just enough” (which is in no way enough) to provide a not-so-safe home for the children, who will most likely be removed again and again – keeping them in a constant state of inconsistency and turmoil.
    I’m in this situation right now and so much want to scream and make the state understand these children deserve so much better than what they will be subjected to if they grow up with a biological family who have proven over and over they DO NOT have the capacity or desire to be good parents!!!!!!

  • Michele

    I was a drug user as well, and I don’t understand how in the world a parent could be like that. I did coke, crack, Ecstasy, and drank frequently. The worst thing I did was spending too much money and racking up credit card debt. Sometimes I’d oversleep in the morning, kids missed the bus and I had to drive them in. I’m sure I wasn’t a picnic to be around when I was hung over, but I sure as hell would notice if my one of my kids left the house. Putting a kid in a dog cage is beyond being someone who has a bad habit; that’s psycho. The mother’s natural reaction should be to want to kill him; if not, she’s just as screwed up. As a parent, it’s your mission to protect your children at all costs. I had a babysitter that, when I advised that my daughter needed to take her Adderall, she replied “Ooh, Adderall..” in way that I didn’t think was appropriate, so I fired her on the spot and told her to get out of my house.
    The foster care system sucks, but I don’t want to just complain about it. Something has to be done, and I can’t rest until I find out how I can help fix it. I would definitely be willing to be a foster parent, even with the heartbreak that comes with it. (Thank God, I got sober; when people say “Jesus saved me”, it seems so trite, but it’s very literal. I’m not still here so I can just exist, I’m here to show gratitude for the life I was given, and then was given back again after I destroyed it.)
    I want to know who to contact about making changes in the law regarding releasing children back to their parents. There should be some situations, like this one, where an incident is deemed ‘irreparable harm’, and the children could not be returned to their parents. There should also be criminal charge of parental negligence that applies to the mother. Unfortunately, she’s not in jail. Hopefully, someone rearranges his spine for him while he’s in jail. I know pedophiles often face that kind of ‘justice’ in prison; ironically, even convicted criminals take child endangerment more seriously that our legal system.