Son pulls own teeth with pliers after father refuses help

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 20, 2011 4:11 PM
Son pulls own teeth with pliers after father refuses help

PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - A man was charged with child endangerment after his teenage son pulled out two of his own teeth with pliers because his father refused to take him to a dentist, authorities said on Wednesday.

Francisco Torres, 41, was arrested on Tuesday after police determined that his 14-year-old son had removed the teeth after complaining of a toothache, Easton police Lt. Scott Casterline said.

Police acting on a tip from a child welfare agency determined that Torres had denied dental care to his son, who was suffering from pain and bleeding and resorted to pulling his own teeth with pliers at their Easton apartment.

"He did leave some fragments inside his mouth that later had to be removed, and the obvious concern by the doctor was ... that there was the risk of infection," Casterline said.

Torres allegedly told his son he did not have access to transportation, or insurance to cover the cost of dental care. But an investigating detective discovered he did in fact have vouchers for transportation as well as an insurance card.

Torres was charged with recklessly endangering another person and endangering the welfare of a child. He was released on bail following his arraignment.

(Reporting by Daniel Lovering; editing by Chris Michaud and Greg McCune)