CRIME

Pennsylvania dad locked 2-year-old son in cage, left toddler and newborn home alone, police say

Pennsylvania state troopers arrested a man after they found his son locked in a wooden cage, and left home alone with his two younger siblings, including a newborn.

Police arrived at the North Manheim Township home Wednesday afternoon after receiving a tip. When no one answered the door, troops forced their way in and found a 1-year-old boy in a playpen, a newborn girl in a baby seat and a 22-month-old son locked inside a makeshift cage, made of plywood and wooden lattice.

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Police arrested 38-year-old Cecil Kutz, father of the three children, on child endangerment charges once he returned home. State police Trooper Thomas Robin said the children’s mother gave birth to the newborn at the home on Tuesday around 9 p.m., and soon suffered from severe bleeding. Kutz called for an ambulance the following morning, according to Robin. The mother was taken to a hospital and underwent surgery.

Hospital staff allegedly asked the mother where her baby was, to which she responded, “The baby’s at home.” Robin said that “put up a red flag.”

Kutz, who would not tell police where he was when the children were home alone, said he used the cage as a makeshift crib to keep the toddler safe at night because he would crawl all over the place, according to Robin.

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Kutz "really didn't seem very concerned" about leaving his children home alone, but the mother expressed alarm and "said this was never done on her watch," the trooper said.

The newborn was taken to a hospital for evaluation. The boys were placed in the custody of child welfare authorities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.