A mother in one Miami-Dade city was taken into custody after she told police she locked her child in a large dog cage because he was “aggressive” to her.
Homestead Police arrived Monday at the home, located in the 200 block of Northeast 12th Avenue in Homestead, after an investigator from the Department of Children and Families reported the punishment.
Once they arrived, police said 42-year-old Adriana Alvarado Gutierrez admitted she locked her son in the cage twice over the previous weekend.
Gutierrez told police she did it because her son “acts aggressively toward her and himself,” according to an arrest report. The child’s father told police he did not agree with the punishment.
Police said the boy had bruises on his back and arms, while Gutierrez had bruises she said were caused by her son kicking her.
The child was diagnosed with ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder and is on medication.
"Oppositional defiant disorder is characterized by a child that doesn’t really respond to typical interventions to modify and change behaviors," said Ire Diaz of the Advocacy Network on Disabilities. "They tend to not follow rules and tend to rebel. So like a rebellious child, but multiply that 10 times."
The Advocacy Network on Disabilities is funded by the Children’s Trust and provides support and services to individuals with disabilities.
“Based on my experience working with families,s the ones that do resort to these sorts of extreme types of behaviors are not trying to punish their children, they are trying to keep them safe and keep themselves safe," Diaz said. "Typically the families we have run into feel that they have exhausted all other resources."
Gutierrez was charged with one count of felony child abuse. A judge put her on house arrest and issued Gutierrez to stay away from her son, who is now with his father.
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