Father charged with endangering welfare of a child
uthorities say a teenager wearing pajama pants and no shirt was found crawling on his hands and knees–his left wrist handcuffed to his right ankle–at a convenience store on Barry Road.
The incident occurred at about 6:30 a.m. on April 27 at the QuikTrip located 7133 NW Barry Road, Kansas City in Platte County. Police say the boy had red marks on his back and torso, and told officers his uncle had handcuffed him the previous night to stop him from running away.
The boy told officers that on April 26, his father, the suspect, had whipped him with a cord after the boy had run away from his residence. The father, Orlando P. Dejesus, age 37, of Kansas City in Platte County, is now charged with a felony of endangering the welfare of a child. He remains in custody in the Platte County Jail on a $25,000 cash-only bond.
Police say the boy was transported to a hospital where photographs were taken of his injuries. Authorities say the extensive amount of welt marks on his back and torso were consistent with being struck with a cord. Court documents say the boy appeared malnourished, describing him as “exceptionally skinny.”
Later that day police executed a search warrant on the home. Court documents say all of the bedrooms in the residence had televisions and furnishings in them except for one bedroom that had a latch on the door where it appeared a padlock could be inserted to keep the door closed from the outside. The bedroom was described as mostly empty with the exception of a mattress resting on a bed frame and a few miscellaneous items in the closet and on the floor.
According to court documents, in an interview with police Dejesus told detectives he had separated from the boy’s biological mother when he was younger. The boy’s mother later dropped the boy at Dejesus’s doorstep “and said she couldn’t do it anymore.” Court documents indicate the boy has a history of running away and there had been repeated involvement from social workers.
Dejesus told police the night before the boy was found at the QuikTrip, the boy had run away to Walmart and began eating food and stealing toys.
According to court papers, Dejesus told police at 2:30 a.m. on April 27, he woke up and “gave into his anger.” He told police he picked up a stick and removed the twigs from it. He said he used the stick and a white cable wire that was on the porch in beating the boy, according to allegations in court documents. Dejesus told police he makes sure the boy is fed.
Dejesus’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 26.