Florida woman accused of chaining grandchildren to washing machine

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 20, 2015 5:36 PM

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) - A 58-year-old Florida woman accused of forcing her grandchildren to sleep chained to her washing machine by dog collars and leashes, was released from jail on Friday on a $5,000 bond, according to court records.

A spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) said the children were placed into a foster home after the arrest of their grandmother, Linda Brantly, on aggravated child abuse on Wednesday.

The children, whose ages were not given, had been in the custody of Brantly, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department's arrest report. The whereabouts of the parents was unclear.

Brantly was ordered to have no contact with anyone under 18 unless supervised by an adult.

One of the children demonstrated for an officer how they would lie down on the laundry room's tile floor and place the dog collar on their wrists to sleep without blankets or a pillow, according to the arrest report.

Brantly could not be reached for comment.

The dog collars, which the officer said fit the children’s wrists perfectly but were too small to go around the neck of the family's obese dog, were attached to the machine by a leash, according to the report.

The child told the officer that they had to put the collars on their own wrists because Brantly couldn't bend over to do it.

To punish them, the child also said their grandmother required them to hold their arms up in the air for long periods of time, according to the report.

A DCF investigator, who called deputies to the scene, reported that the children were not allowed to sleep in their beds or play with their toys.

(Editing by David Adams and Sandra Maler)