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Ariz. boy forced by parents to sleep outside for a month, police say

A Chandler, Ariz. boy was forced by his father and stepmother to sleep and live in their backyard for at least one month over the summer as punishment for showing a lack of “basic respect,” a police report stated.

The 16-year-old boy alleged he was locked out of his room and had to spend one-and-a-half months outside in the summer heat, often enduring rain and dust storms. He also alleged he had to use the yard as a restroom.

The incident came to light when the boy left his home after a month and went to his uncle’s house. The uncle called police on July 19 to report the alleged abuse.

During police questioning, the boy said he apparently upset his father by using headphones on his gaming console, something his dad did not like, according to the police report.

Brian Romine, the boy’s father, said other arguments stemmed over foil lids peeled off cake topping containers that he found in the boy’s pockets. His son denied tampering with the containers. It was later learned the boy had opened the lids to smell or the eat the contents before returning them to the shelf, the officer’s report stated.

The boy said his dad gave him a sleeping bag and pillow and told him to go sleep on the lawn chair on the back patio. The teen also stated that his dad told him to take two bottles of water with him, the officer’s report stated.

Police questioned the boy’s stepmom who said the teen had been “lying and misbehaving.” She continued to complain about the boy’s attitude and actions and that the answer to her problems was to “take a lot of drugs,” police stated.

A CPS agent took the teen into custody.

Brian and Shelly-Anderson Romine were arrested, taken to the Chandler Police Department and booked into jail on charges of child abuse.

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