Dad, Uncle Admit to Chaining Teen to Bumper

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By Daren Sukhram

DAVENPORT - Two Davenport men admit they chained a 14 year-old boy to a car bumper.

The father and uncle of the teenager are out on bond on child abuse charges. But the two claim it wasn't abuse, just a last ditch effort to help the boy.

Richard Collins says his 14 year old son is out of control. "I've grounded him, took things away that don't work, I'm at my wits end."

After the Davenport teen was picked up by police Sunday, he threatened to run away again, so Collins and his brother had an idea.

"You know the old ball and chain routine? That's what it was," said Collins.

The two admit they chained the teenagers ankle to an old rusty car bumper, to try and keep him from running away again. Confined to his room.

Collins claims the chain was loose enough to where it wouldn't leave a mark. They say the boy, who has an amputated arm, trashed his room and broke some windows, and was kept in the makeshift shackle for about 15 minutes.

When he was set free, he called police on the two, who were later charged with child endangerment and assault.

"Yeah it may have been a little outrageous and out of control, but i was trying to protect him from," said the boy's father.

"The marks that are on his ankles, he did himself by pulling on the bumper," said the teen's uncle James Collins.

His dad says he's called social services and police about his son in the past, the chain a last resort. The two say the bumper and chain wasn't about abuse, but protection.

"It's just bullcrap, that I'm trying to straighten my son out but nobody wants to help me straighten him out i can't get no help," said Collins.

The 14-year-old is now in the care of his mother.

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