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Police: Grandparents chained teen to bed

Posted at 10:12 AM, Jun 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-08 12:53:29-04

State Police have charged the grandparents of a 16-year-old boy for allegedly chaining the teen to his bed.

Police say they responded to a home on Blackhouse Road in the Town of Middlebury on Monday for a report of an uncontrollable teen. When they arrived, they say they realized 50-year-old Shirley Sherwood and 56-year-old George Colton had been chaining the teen to the bed at night and at other times. Police say the teen was not chained when they arrived at the home.

"During the course of the investigation, we revealed that as a means of control, they were taking the 16-year-old and chaining him with a dog chain and some padlocks to a bed," said Trooper James O'Callaghan.

Troopers say the couple was using a 15-foot dog chain and three padlocks to lock up the teenage boy.

"This may have happened over a period of months," said O'Callaghan. "We made the arrest on that because at no point in time should a parent or a legal guardian chain anyone up to anything in their residence."

Sherwood and Colton were arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful imprisonment.

7 Eyewitness News spoke with Sherwood over the phone who denies the allegations. She says even though the teen was out of control and has severe behavioral issues, at no point did she or her boyfriend ever chain him up.

"He has a lot of mental issues," she said. "We have had him to different counseling all over trying to get some help for this kid. That has been our number one goal all the time."

Sherwood says she is his legal guardian, and took him out of foster care to give him a good home. She says even though the teen has stolen from her, assaulted her, even tried to run away, she never chained him up.

The couple was arraigned in Town of Warsaw Court and taken to the Wyoming County Jail. They'll appear in the Town of Middlebury Court later this month.

The child is being cared for by a family member, and CPS is investigating this case.