Two parents are charged with felony child abuse after a woman found their 9-year-old son hiding in a recycling bin outside her North Raleigh apartment after repeated beatings from his father, police said.
Police had been searching for the boy all night Friday while detectives were questioning Jillian Randel Davis and Leroy Blake.
Saturday morning, the woman told police in a 911 call that she was stunned to find the boy in the bin with dried blood on his face. She said he had fled through woods and found her bin after his father kicked him in the stomach.
Davis, 29, and Blake, 25, have no permanent home, officials said. The boy told the 911 caller that they had been sleeping in a park near her home and the Green Road Community Center and spending days in a public library.
The boy was turned over to the Department of Social Services after an officer came to the woman’s apartment.
The woman told police the boy said he was “whupped” frequently by his father for doing things that he was told were wrong but that he didn’t understand.
A boy called police about 10:30 p.m. Friday saying a boy he knew had run past him on Parkville Drive with a bloody face and would not stop for help.
“I just seen a little boy run past my house.... His face is split down the middle,” the boy said before his father took the cellphone from him.
The man hung up and told a dispatcher who called back that his son had called by mistake and hung up again.
Police went to Parkville Drive, spokesman Jim Sughrue said, and found Davis and Blake, who he said gave “their account” of what had happened to their son and were taken to detectives for questioning.
With them was a 2-month-old boy, who was unhurt. He also was turned over to Social Services for care, Sughrue said.
The woman who called police Saturday morning said the boy politely answered, “Yes, ma’am” when she asked if he had been in the bin all night and if he wanted to come in for some food and so she could clean his face.
The boy ate cereal, and the woman called 911.
“Every day his dad hits him,” the woman said.
She said she would gladly let the boy stay with her, but she knew she couldn’t do that.
She said the boy told her the family had relatives in Clayton, but he did not know their names or their phone number.
Davis and Blake appeared in court Monday and were being held in lieu of $50,000 bail each. Both are due for another court appearance Sept. 8, records showed.