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.
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