Dad Arrested After 6-Year-Old Found Chained to Bed

ChainsA Utah man has been arrested on allegations of child abuse after his 6-year-old son was found chained to a bed while he was at work. Sammie Hodges, 28, was taken in Tuesday after police received an anonymous tip about the child being locked up. Around 11 a.m., responding officers found the child with his ankle chained to the bedframe.

Police Chief Gary Jensen said he doesn't know exactly how long the boy had been locked up like that. It's likely to have been since school let out for the summer -- 10 days earlier.

Agh! Stories like this make my heart ache.

Jensen also said the chain wasn't lightweight either. He said, "This is a heavy, truck chain, not a light chain ... but like what you would pull a truck down the road with ... It’s big and it’s heavy."

There was enough slack in the chain tying the boy to the bed that he could reach the bathroom across the hall, and he had been left some water and "snack-type" junk food. Police don't know how long he was there like that but determined him to be in fairly good physical health -- thank goodness.

"He appears relatively healthy, albeit that's going to mess with your head," Jensen said. "But from a physical perspective, he appears to be healthy."

Yeah, that's got to mess with your head! Do you think it's possible that if it was the dad who chained him up, he thought he was actually protecting him by not giving him free reign of the house or the ability to go outside and get hurt or lost? Childcare can be tricky in the summer, so part of me wonders if he was choosing what he thought was the lesser of two evils? Not that that excuses this atrocity in any way, but you do have to wonder what the heck he was thinking.

After the police received the 911 call, they went to the home, where no one answered. Then they went door to door to verify it was the home in question, and eventually they made their way in via an open window. I can only imagine what they felt when they saw this poor little guy.

It appears the child was living in the home with his dad and another adult woman who is not his biological mother. It's not known whether the woman had a part in the chaining or not.

The boy is now in custody of the Division of Child and Family Services, and Hodges is being held at the Cache County Jail on four counts of child abuse, a class A misdemeanor.

Jensen is grateful to the anonymous caller who tipped them off to the situation. He said that without that call, "this child would still be chained to a bed."

Do you think it's possible that someone might lock a child up like this because they think it's safer than the alternative?


Image via Dustin Gaffke/Flickr

child abuse


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nonmember avatar ymaeiram

Oh that poor baby! I'm glad someone cared enough to report it.

Frost... FrostyMelted

Great. Now he can be thrown into the foster care system where his odds of being abused, neglected, raped, or killed skyrocket. He should have been left with the father who was simply trying to do his best to keep him safe and the family given help regarding childcare. 

nonmember avatar Andrea

Frosty is obviously on drugs. Lol!! While I do agree that foster care is a terrible system, leaving him with the "dad" is none too bright either. He will probably end up with a family member.

nonmember avatar vanessa

Frosty: You really think this is a father who was "simply trying to do his best to keep him safe" ?!! LOL lay off the drugs buddy and the "melted frosties"

Frost... FrostyMelted

Andrea - Out for the summer? Because surely only a dumb teenager could leave a comment like that.

Vanessa - Lay off the meth. Your brains are already gone based on that comment and I hate to see anyone develop meth mouth.

Spapi... Spapillion

Childcare can be tricky in the summer? That is the most idiotic sentance in this article!!!

nonmember avatar Cassie Lewis

This breaks me heart knowing who the little boy is. They were my neighbors a few months ago. I never saw this coming the boy always seemed well taken care of.

nonmember avatar Joci

There is absolutely no reason to chain a child... If restraints are ever needed they should be administered by a trained professional. People need to be accountable for their actions and summer is no excuse for child abuse.

pinki... pinkiebabii

It was an awful thing to do but I totally see why dad did it.

I agree with frosty. Get dad free childcare and parenting classes and keep the kid out of foster care.

-former foster kid

Doubl... DoubleANBsMom

No there is NEVER a good reason to chain your child, any child up! What if a fire had broken out at the house? Wouldn't that just make ya feel like crap if your home burned down and your kid died in it because your dumb ass chained him up and he could not escape?! Working people struggle to find daycare all the time, but you do not do this because you can't afford it or find care. How could you even go to work and do your job correctly knowing your kid is chained up at home?! And for those who are saying he is better off with dad then in foster care, I don't know what you people are thinking. Why would any child be better off with a parent who actually puts their child in danger and ties/chains them up? That is crazy!!

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