BAKER, LA (WAFB) - A Baker man been arrested after reportedly locking a 13-year-old boy in a horse trailer overnight as punishment, says the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office.
On Monday, April 10, officials were notified that a 13-year-old male has been confined inside a horse/cattle trailer overnight as punishment. When deputies arrived, the boy's aunt stated she called 911 after finding out her nephew had been locked in the trailer all night. Deputies investigated the metal trailer, the main purpose of which is to transport farm animals, and once inside, discovered a large pile of horse feces. Deputies also smelled what seemed to be urine and feces.
Officials also observed in right back corner of the trailer a bed pallet made out of saddle pads for horses. Next to the bedding was a Bible and paper, along with a plastic bag that also smelled of urine. It was also observed there was no overhead lighting in the trailer. Deputies also found what appeared to be human feces in a plastic bag outside on the ground close to the trailer.
Deputies spoke to the boy, who said he was put in the trailer around 9 p.m. the previous night and was locked inside until law enforcement arrived. The boy did appear to be in good health and had changed clothes before deputies arrived. The boy also said he was put in the trailer by his father as punishment for being disrespectful and shoving his father's live-in girlfriend after she first shoved him.
The boy said his father made a bedding pallet for him in the trailer and said he would be back in the morning. The boy said around 8 a.m. that morning, his father's girlfriend brought him a bottle of water and then 30 minutes later, brought him a bowl of oatmeal.
The father of the boy, Douglas Oneal, 71, was arrested and transported to EBRSO Headquarters, where he was advised of his Miranda rights. After being read his rights, Oneal said his son was disrespectful to himself and his girlfriend and that whipping him and punishing him was no longer working, so he had to do something else. Oneal said on Sunday night, his son was disrespectful, so had to "draw the line" and his son ended up sleeping in the horse trailer. He said he walked his son to the trailer, which is about 150 feet from their home, put him inside, and locked the entrance with a padlock.
Oneal also reportedly said before making his son stay inside the trailer, he prepared a bed made out of horse saddles, a blanket, and a quilt. He said he gave his son a plastic bag to be used for going to the bathroom. He claimed he felt the punishment was "justifiable" and his locked his son in the trailer to "teach him a lesson."
The Department of Children and Family Services was contacted and present during the investigation. The teenager was placed into the care of family members.
Oneal is charged with cruelty to juveniles.