Couple Accused of Keeping Their 4-Year-Old Son in a Cage

child locked in dog cageIt's hard to understand how any adult could possibly justify this treatment. A couple was arrested for keeping their 4-year-old son in a wire cage, sometimes for up to 14 hours a day. Police say Suzanne Satterfield and her boyfriend Johnathon Lee regularly confined her son inside a dog's cage. When he learned how to escape, they started handcuffing his hands to the cage and padlocking the door. You will not believe the excuses they gave for this horrific parenting choice.


According to authorities, Lee claimed he was trying to protect his step-son from faulty wiring in the house. He also told them he used the cage as a disciplinary device. These are both flimsy excuses, and surely these parents knew better. If you need to protect a child from faulty wiring, you fix the wiring. If the child lacks discipline, you provide loving structure and guidance.

Anyone who's ever raised a child know how energetic and unruly a 4-year-old can get. But nothing a child could possibly do would justify keeping him in a cage. We've also seen how curious and spirited a child that age can be, and it breaks my heart to think of this boy's bright eyes dimming and spirit being crushed by this treatment. I only hope this abuse hasn't been going on so long that he isn't able to recover from it.

The abused 4-year-old wasn't this couple's only child, so you can imagine his siblings may have suffered as well. Lee and Satterfield have been charged with multiple felonies. They're in a cages of their own, now; Both are in jail, in enclosures that are no doubt far more humane than the one where they were keeping their son.

Do you think parents do things like this out of cruelty or ignorance or laziness?


Image via Rogers County Jail

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