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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    Default Police find 8 Ohio kids locked in cages




    Police find 8 Ohio kids locked in cages
    Tuesday, September 13, 2005; Posted: 7:05 a.m. EDT (11:05 GMT)

    (CNN) -- Police in northern Ohio on Monday rescued eight children whose parents told authorities they kept the kids in locked cages for their own protection.

    The children, ages 1 to 14, were found locked in cages at their home in Wakeman, about 40 miles southwest of Cleveland, according to Lt. Randy Sommers of the Huron County Sheriff's Office.

    The children were all either adopted or foster children, he said.

    Authorities said the kids were kept in wooden cages, less than 3 feet by 3 feet, without pillows or blankets.

    Shortly after being found, the children were sent to Fisher-Titus Medical Center in Norwalk, where they were listed in good condition.

    The children's parents, Mike and Sharon Gravelle, had 11 children in all, according to authorities.

    Police said no charges had been filed against the parents.

    "Basically, the parents thought they were providing for the protection of the children from themselves and from each other," said Sommers.

    "They thought there was circumstances with these children that warranted the cages at night," Sommers added, but he would not go into details of what those circumstances were.

    All 11 of the children found in the home have been placed in the custody of the Huron County Department of Children and Families.
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk
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    >>Police said no charges had been filed against the parents.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  3. #3
    Unchained JCM 800's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voivod
    >>Police said no charges had been filed against the parents.
    I second that...
    "You will respect my authoritah!" Ptl.Cartman

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    This whole thing is
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

    www.geocaching.com - The site where you are the search engine.

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk stilleddiesangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voivod
    >>Police said no charges had been filed against the parents.
    Like fuck!!! This is criminal and ridiculous!!
    ****Texas - Home Of My Heart****

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  6. #6
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    Wait for the explanation. Believe me, the Police are ITCHING to put these people away, so I'm sure there is an explanation of why they are waiting.

    Cops are parents/uncles/aunts/etc. too, the last thing they want to come rolling in on is shit like this...

  7. #7
    Sinner's Swing! racefan8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IED
    Wait for the explanation. Believe me, the Police are ITCHING to put these people away, so I'm sure there is an explanation of why they are waiting.

    Cops are parents/uncles/aunts/etc. too, the last thing they want to come rolling in on is shit like this...
    This is absolutely true. They want to make sure the charges stick so they are taking care to get it right. Nothing cops hate more than child abusers.
    Stupid is forever, ignorance can be fixed.
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  8. #8
    Eruption ddzavis's Avatar
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    It's time like these that I tip my hat to the man above for having the parents and childhood I had. Those poor kids. I'd work for free to see justice done in this case.

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk
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    Neighbors Say Kids Found in Cages Polite By M.R. KROPKO, Associated Press

    The 11 children removed from a house where authorities say some of them slept in homemade cages are polite, well-behaved, well-dressed and appear to have been well-fed, neighbors and authorities said Tuesday.

    Their adoptive parents, Michael Gravelle, 56, and Sharen Gravelle, 57, denied in a custody hearing Monday that they abused or neglected the children, who are ages 1-14 and have conditions that included autism and fetal alcohol syndrome.

    No charges had been filed as of Tuesday afternoon, and messages left with the couple's lawyer were not immediately returned.

    The Gravelles have said a psychiatrist recommended they make the children sleep in the cages, Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler told the Norwalk Reflector. The parents said the children, including some who had mental disorders, needed to be protected from each other, according to a search warrant on file at Norwalk Municipal Court.

    Leffler refused to speak with an Associated Press reporter Tuesday at his office.

    Neighbors said they often saw or heard the children playing, and the family yard was littered with toys — plastic cars, tricycles, slides and an overturned skateboard near a wooden ramp. Seven bicycles were piled in a storage shed.

    "Those kids were dressed better than some of the kids who live in Cleveland. They behaved like any other kids when they were outside playing," said Jim Power, who lives across the street.

    At night, authorities say, eight of the children were confined in 3 1/2-foot-tall wooden cages stacked in bedrooms on the second floor. The cages were painted in bright, primary colors, with some rigged with alarms that would send a signal to the downstairs when a cage door was opened. One cage had a dresser in front of it, county sheriff's Lt. Randy Sommers said Tuesday.

    "The sheriff and I stood there for a few minutes and just kind of stared at what we were seeing. We were speechless," Sommers said.

    No one answered the Gravelles' door Tuesday, and the gray, four-bedroom house was dark. A pig, roosters and other animals shared the yard outside Wakeman, a city of about 1,000 people 50 miles west of Cleveland.

    The children have been placed with four foster families and were doing well, said Erich Dumbeck, director of the Huron County Department of Job and Family Services.

    "We're still trying to figure out what happened in that home. We don't have any indication at this point that there was any abuse," Dumbeck said.

    Sommers said a social worker investigating a complaint contacted authorities. Dumbeck would not discuss the complaint.

    According to the search warrant, the cages had mats and the house smelled of urine. One boy said he slept in a cage for three years, Sommers said. A baby slept in a small bed, and two girls used mattresses

    Deputies said they were called to the home last year when a 12-year-old boy was upset and ran away for several hours. He was found not far away.

    Although the family has lived in Huron County for 10 years, the children were adopted through other counties and states, Dumbeck said. He said his agency was trying to determine how the adoptions were completed.

    "I don't believe there were any caseworkers checking in with this family," he said. Reviews are ordered only when there is a complaint.

    One of the children, a boy born with HIV, was adopted as an infant in 2001 through the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services, the agency's director Jim McCafferty said. For caring for him, the Gravelles received a subsidy of at least $500 a month.

    The private agencies who reviewed the couple's home life before the adoption gave them "glowing reports," McCafferty said.

    Leah Hunter, who lives two houses away, said she often saw the children walking down the road.

    "They looked OK. They hardly ever wore shoes but I'm a country girl and for me that's normal," she said.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk
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    Caged Kids' Mom Complained of Husband
    Friday, September 16, 2005

    NORWALK, Ohio — The adoptive mother of a group of children who were confined in cages at night accused her husband four years ago of being a danger to the family.

    In court papers requesting a separation in March 2001, Sharen Gravelle (search) said she wanted custody of their then eight young children because of her husband's "physical mistreatment of the children."

    The couple, who now have 11 adopted special needs children, eventually resolved their differences. Authorities, however, are making similar allegations.

    This week, prosecutor Russell Leffler (search) filed 11 complaints of child abuse and neglect to authorize the placement of the children in foster care. No criminal charges have been filed.

    A hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 27, and a judge will decide if the children should be permanently removed from the home or returned.

    Michael and Sharen Gravelle say they have done nothing wrong and that the wooden "enclosures" were meant to protect youngsters who set fires and injured each other.

    The children, ages 1 to 14, have conditions that include autism, fetal alcohol syndrome and HIV (search). A 3-year-old has a disease called pica, described as an eating disorder in which children compulsively eat nonfood items such as dirt or rocks.

    "Some of these children have eaten batteries, clothes, blankets, mattresses, wood, carpets, chemicals and anything they could obtain, which is why the kitchen cupboards are locked," said David Sherman, the couple's attorney.

    The 2001 domestic court filing does not detail the abuse Sharen Gravelle alleged. The documents show she revealed the alleged mistreatment to a counselor.

    Sharen Gravelle claimed the couple were no longer compatible and that her husband was guilty of "extreme cruelty and gross neglect of duty." Michael Gravelle agreed that they were incompatible and should end their marriage but denied that he was cruel or neglectful.

    He said then that his wife received $4,265 a month in government adoption subsidies and disability payments for the children.

    Michael Gravelle acknowledged that the couple had had problems for many years but said they had done their best to provide the children with a good home.

    "I dearly love them," he said in a filing dated April 18, 2001. "I have done nothing wrong to the children in the house."

    The couple had reconciled by May and eventually adopted three more children. It's unknown if the agencies that placed those children reviewed the abuse allegations.

    An adult daughter of the Gravelles has asked the court to award her custody of her adopted siblings, according to juvenile court records.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  11. #11
    Niners Fan! SactoFan's Avatar
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    It sounds like these people needed support more than anything else. I live with one special needs child and can't imagine 11. Also, be careful of what the writer calls "cages." Nothing sells like dirt...I'm not saying you want to lock your kids up, but there is more to this story...
    Can't stop...addicted to the shindig...

  12. #12
    Banned! againstthewind's Avatar
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    You know Mrs Buckman, you need a license to drive, hell, you need a license to catch a fish...but they'll let any but reamin' asshole become a parent.--From the move Parenthood.

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk
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    Most of the 40-inch-high, 30-inch-wide kinder-coops had chicken wire to prevent the kids from escaping. Another had two pieces of wood across the entrance door to prevent it from being opened without the Gravelles' knowledge.

    He claimed that "a licensed social worker" as well as an adoption agency told the Gravelles to build the enclosures to prevent the children from eating "batteries, clothes, blankets, mattresses, ...
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk
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    Default Officials Knew of Caged Kids Two Years Before Removal

    Wednesday, December 07, 2005

    NORWALK, Ohio — Child-welfare workers had heard rumors that a couple kept some of their 11 adopted children in cages two years before the youngsters were removed from the home, a witness testified in a custody hearing Tuesday.

    Officials tried to follow up on the rumors in 2003, but Michael and Sharen Gravelle would not cooperate and a full investigation was never conducted, said Jo Ellen Johnson, an investigator for the Huron County Department of Job and Family Services.

    The children were finally taken from the Gravelles after Johnson visited the home and examined the chicken-wire cages.

    "They were piled one on top of another. It looked like a kennel," Johnson said.

    The Gravelles say they built enclosures with alarms where the children could sleep for their own protection. The children, ages 1 to 14, have health and behavioral problems such as fetal alcohol syndrome and pica, a disorder in which children eat dirt.

    Judge Timothy Cardwell will determine whether the children were abused or neglected. If the allegations are not proved, the Gravelles, who live near rural Wakeman, could regain custody.

    The Gravelles' attorney, Kenneth Myers, repeatedly criticized Johnson's reports and questioned why the county suddenly had to remove the children from the home two years after hearing about the cages.

    In later testimony, a man listed as reporting the Gravelles to authorities said he never filed a complaint and didn't believe the children were being abused.

    Insurance agent Edward Clunk said that he visited the couple in summer 2004 to sell them policies. He observed two children — one sleeping in a cubbyhole and another in what he described as a cage.

    "I've been in thousands of homes. ... This was something just a little bit out of the ordinary," Clunk said, adding he did not file a report because he did not believe the children were being abused by the Gravelles.

    "I thought it was very admirable for them to adopt children of that nature that nobody wanted," he said.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    There s/b a limit on how many children people can take care of if they have to resort to this type of environment for them.

    Simply apalling.
    RIP - Classic Van Halen

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