A 4-year-old Arkansas girl who was taken into protective custody after being zip-tied to her bed as punishment by her mother and her mother’s boyfriend thought her name was “idiot,” police said.
Jennifer Diane Denen, 30 and Clarence Eugene Reed, 47, were arrested last Friday on suspicion of domestic battery, permitting the abuse of a minor and endangering the welfare of a minor.
Hot Springs police officers responded to Cooper-Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center after human services workers and center employees examined the girl and determined she had been abused, according to an arrest report.
The Sentinel-Record reported that the child had deep purple bruising on her bottom, lower back and legs along with a black eye, swollen right cheek, a bruise on her forehead, healing scars across her back and dried up blood in the corner of her mouth.
There were also marks on her wrists that indicated she had been restrained somehow. The girl also looked malnourished, according to the paper.
When authorities asked the girl her name, she responded, “idiot,” according to the police report. Police questioned a juvenile at the girl’s home and the person told police that she was commonly referred to as “idiot.”
Hot Springs police spokesman Cpl. Kirk Zaner told The Washington Post that there were a total of six children who lived at the house. Another 11-month-old was also with protective services and four other siblings were with their biological father.
Denen and Reed were both at the hospital when police arrived and were taken to the station for questioning. Denen told police that she saw Reed strike the child with a plastic baseball bat and another juvenile told authorities that both Denen and Reed had zip-tied the girl to a chair.
Denen admitted that she failed to seek immediate care for the child and that Reed referred to the girl as “idiot,” according to The Sentinel-Record.
Reed told police that he did refer to the child as “idiot,” but insisted it was only a joke.
The paper reported that the pair were being held on $500,000 bond and are set to appear in Garland County District Court on Aug. 23.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.