Man arrested for leaving son in locked horse trailer overnight as punishment
BATON ROUGE – A man has been arrested after deputies say he locked his son inside a horse trailer overnight as a punishment.
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office arrested 71-year-old Douglas O'neal on one charge of cruelty to juveniles.
The incident occurred on April 10 when deputies responded to a call of a 13-year-old boy locked in a horse trailer. According to arrest documents, the boy's aunt called deputies and stated she saw him in the trailer.
The boy had been removed from the trailer before deputies arrived.
Deputies saw the metal trailer feet away from a home on the property and saw a large pile of horse feces inside of it. Additionally, arrest documents note that deputies noticed a bed pallet made out of saddle pads for horses with a Bible and paper next to it.
A yellow plastic bag that smelled of urine was also inside along with a bag containing human feces was found on the ground outside of the trailer.
Detectives spoke to the boy who stated that he was put in the trailer around 9 p.m. the night before and locked inside by his father.
According to arrest documents, the boy told detectives that his father put him in the trailer as punishment for being disrespectful and shoving his father's live-in girlfriend after she shoved him. The boy also told detectives that his father made a bedding pallet for him and was told that he would be back in the morning.
The boy stated that around 8 a.m., the father's girlfriend brought him his first bottle of water and then later brought him a bowl of oatmeal.
O'neal told detectives that his son was disrespectful to him and his girlfriend and stated that whipping and punishing the boy to his room was no longer working as punishments.
According to arrest documents, O'neal said that he walked his son to the trailer, placed him inside and padlocked the entrance. O'neal said that he prepared a bed with horse saddles, a blanket and a quilt along with a plastic bag for him to use to urinate and defecate.
O'neal stated that he felt the punishment was to teach his son a lesson, according to arrest documents.
Sources say that O'Neal is a retired firefighter of the Baton Rouge Fire Department.