Child Protective Services see a number of cases in which children are abused and neglected. While they see it all, there are still some cases that stun them.
In one of the latest cases, Greg and Angela Danner allegedly made their 15-year-old son live in a basement with no lights, leaving him with just a blanket and a pillow. His meals consisted of peanut butter sandwiches and they would make him do hundreds of pushups and run many miles every single day as punishments.
Why did they allegedly do this? Greg Danner told the Star Tribune that it was because the boy would not do anything around the house. He would not help out with chores.
The boy, who has since turned 16, has Asperger’s Syndrome. He is Greg’s stepson, making him Angela’s son. He was removed from their custody by Child Protective Services and has been placed in the custody of his father. Both Angela and Greg are facing misdemeanor charges of malicious punishment of a child and child neglect.
As for how the charges came about, the criminal complaint says boy contacted Eagan police in April and said that his stepfather and mother had removed his lights and his bed from his basement bedroom. He said they also blocked his bedroom window so that no light could come into the room.
The boy continued to tell police that he was sleeping on the floor with just a blanket and a pillow and that his showers were very limited, telling him that he could shower when he visited with his father. The couple also allegedly told the boy that if he wanted to have clean clothes, he would have to ask his biological father to buy him detergent and then wash his clothes in the sink or bathtub.
Police continued their conversations with the boy in April and May and learned that the boy was required to stay in the basement at all times, except when he was to go to the bathroom, exercise, or do chores, according to the complaint.
The boy told officers that it was his sister who would bring him peanut butter sandwiches every evening and he was to leave the plate on the stairs so it could be picked up later. He said a video camera had been installed in his room so he could be monitored. In addition, he was forced to work out every day for a ridiculous amount of time.
It was on May 2 that social service workers spoke with the boy. This is when he told them that he was required to run three miles every day and they called it “discipline” or “therapy.” The charges further state that he had to do military-style pushups every day and that he was so sore he had a hard time sleeping.
In an interview that Greg Danner had with fox, he did not deny that he made an effort to make life difficult for his son, but said a lot of what has been told about him and Angela is exaggerated. He said he did it to the boy to teach him that it would be more worth doing the chores than undergoing the treatment that was inflicted upon him.
The boy’s sister, who is Greg’s biological daughter, is still living at home with her parents. The Danners are currently free pending their future court appearance. If convicted, they could face two years each in prison.