SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB/Gray News) - A Sarasota couple has been arrested for allegedly abusing a 13-year-old child by binding him to plywood and limiting the food he could eat.
According to a release from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Frank McKay, 41 and Adecia Johnson, 38, are charged with child abuse without great bodily harm and false imprisonment. The arrest took place on 2000 black of Adams Lane, where the alleged abuse was located.
McKay is the father and Johnson is his girlfriend and according to the probable cause affidavit she also serves as the “stepmother” to his children. Deputies say on Tuesday, a video recording was given to them showing, the 13-year-old tied to the wooden bed post of a bunk bed with a zip tie. Deputies say the child was also forced to sleep without a mattress or linens.
Deputies say are the zip ties, which were strung together like a string only for minor movement. McKay and Johnson allegedly both tied the child up.
Deputies say on Wednesday, after forensics interviews were conducted at the Child Protection Center is was reported the zip ties were punishment unto the teen for allegedly stealing food and money. It was later reported the 13-year-old allegedly stole food because he was hungry. Deputies say per reports, the victim and his other children underneath the couples care do not receive breakfast.
Deputies say during the child’s alleged abuse a banana, salad and two water bottles were placed in the room for lunch and dinner. The couple limited the amount of food the child or any child who received the “punishment” could receive, according to deputies.
Deputies say, on Monday, Frank tied his child to the bed before leaving work and he allegedly zip tied the pre-teen’s older brother as well, while he was sleep. According to SCSO reports, on this same day McKay allegedly was holding a “cooking axe” and attempted to chop the 13-year-old's hands off before his older brother stopped him.
Johnson allegedly told deputies she saw the child tied up, but claims it was a form of punishment not abuse, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. Johnson also said the child could be cut off from the zip tie to use the bathroom and then placed back into “restraint.”
Johnson said she did “not feel” this was a form of abuse and they were fed healthy food, according to the release.
Deputies say McKay has more than a dozen prior arrests in Sarasota County for crimes including Contempt of Court for Non Payment Child Support, Burglary, Possession of Cocaine, and more. Johnson is similarly charged by the Sarasota Police Department with False Imprisonment and Aggravated Child Abuse.
The investigation is still ongoing.