OCALA, FL – A Florida man is facing felony child neglect charges after investigators said he locked a child in a room with no food and no access to a bathroom.
Marion County sheriff’s deputies said the incident happened on November 16. According to Bryon McIntyre’s arrest report, a neighbor alerted authorities when they saw a child asking for help. The child told the neighbor he was locked in a room while McIntyre went to Kissimmee.
The child told investigators when McIntyre is away, he locks him in a small back room of the home, with no access to food, a phone, or the rest of the house. Deputies said the child did not have access to a bathroom, and the child was found with a bucket with cat litter to use.
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“The child had been left with a water bottle and a bucket of kitty litter and no way to really exit the room,” said Cecelia Koon, Marion County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer.
According to his arrest report, when interviewed, McIntryre told deputies, “I can’t put my life on hold for this kid.” The child told investigators he ran away at one point because McIntyre “calls him the devil and doesn’t want him.”
Deputies are thankful the anonymous neighbor stopped to help and insist if someone sees something, they should say something.
“We’re so grateful to that neighbor who noticed there was something suspicious going on and made that phone call to help this child,” said Koon.
Due to the temporary living conditions, along with the attempts to lock the child into the room without the ability to call 911 and the possibility of law enforcement not having the ability to make entry to provide aid to the victim if needed, McIntyre was arrested.
According to the Marion Sheriff’s Office, the child is in the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families.