Screaming Tulsa Toddler Found Locked In Dog Crate

Monday, November 12th 2012, 10:47 am
By: Dee Duren

Tulsa police say one naked toddler was locked up in a dog crate Sunday evening and another outside naked while the temperature was in the 40s. Their father, William Todd Lewallen, 47, was arrested for felony child neglect.

Officers went to a home in the 4900 block of North Frankfort Place just before 6 p.m. after a neighbor reported hearing a child crying outside for over 20 minutes. Neighbors said they went to investigate and found a naked 4-year-old boy outside in the back yard.

"We heard it when it first started, he started screaming and crying 'Daddy, I'm cold and scared; I'm cold, I'm scared daddy,'" said Bodan Jacobs.

Bodan and Toker Jacobs, and Matt Testerman, all rushed to help when they heard the screams. Matt went through the brush between the houses and saw a little boy locked out in the cold.

"I could see him crawling up the stairs banging on the back door and then I saw, 'Oh my God, come here, you're naked' and I said 'come here,' and he didn't want to, but I said 'come here, you're freezing,'" said Matt Testerman.

The Jacobs took him in and got him warmed up.

"He was cold and he didn't want to go anywhere once Matt gave him to me. We got him dressed and I told him 'you're OK, ain't nothing to happen to you now,'" Bodan said.

Several neighbors heard the screams, and it wasn't just the naked boy outside.

"When officers arrived they spoke with the neighbor and investigated further," said Officer Leland Ashley with the Tulsa Police Department.

"As they approached the house they could hear screaming and crying coming from inside."

Looking through a small window into the back of the house, police could see a naked child locked in a metal dog crate, Ashley said.

Police kicked open the back door and removed a 18-month-old girl from the kennel.

"Upon entry officers were immediately hit with the overwhelming stench of feces," Ashley said. The toddler in the cage was covered in feces, according to police.

"We found another naked toddler asleep in a bed in the master bedroom. William Lewallen Sr. was passed out in the bed," the arresting officer said in his report.

Police say Lewallen told them he took narcotic pain medicine, a muscle relaxant and an anti-seizure medication with a beer then "laid down to take a rest." There was an open beer next to the bed, officers said.

"The defendant was unaware that a naked child had been locked out of his house and was outside in the 40 degree weather for over 20 minutes," the arrest report states.

"The screaming child in the dog kennel did not wake the defendant nor did the officers kicking the door down to rescue the toddler in the dog cage."

Lewallen is being held on a $50,000 bond. His next court date is set for November 19, 2012.

According to Tulsa County court records, Lewallen has been convicted in the past of joyriding and possession of a precursor to manufacture a controlled drug - methamphetamine.

The three children are now in Department of Human Services custody.