15-year-old tells police she had brought home a `bad report card'

mother, her boyfriend charged

Girl found chained to her bed

June 22, 2006|By CHRIS YAKAITIS | CHRIS YAKAITIS,SUN REPORTER

Kenya Lincoln told police she spent 60 hours confined to her room, the door padlocked from the outside. She said she was tied to her bed frame by a silver chain wrapped around her right ankle, with no food and no water.

The reason, Baltimore police said: The 15-year-old had brought home a bad report card.

Prosecutors said the mother's boyfriend -- arrested on charges that include child abuse and false imprisonment -- was ordered held without bail after a hearing in District Court yesterday. The girl's mother was being held on the same charges.

Police said they were alerted to Lincoln by a 10-year-old neighbor who was walking through the alley behind her rowhouse, heard her cry for help and called 911.

"I knew she needed me to do something for her," said Deon Graham, who was hauling an empty propane tank for an uncle at the time. "I told them she was stuck in the room."

According to court records, Lincoln was found by police about noon Monday in her house in the 3600 block of Beehler Ave. in the Pimlico neighborhood of Northwest Baltimore.

She was sitting on the floor wearing only a tank top and underwear, the records say, and had bruises on her left and right thigh and her left arm. Police said they cut the chain that bound her to the bed frame. Lincoln, a Northwestern High School student, told police she had been imprisoned there since 11 p.m. Friday.

Deon said he could see the girl's face as she called to him from a second-floor window.

Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman, said Lincoln told officers that she had been chained to the bed after she brought home a "bad report card." She said her mother entered the room Saturday morning and unchained her, let her use the bathroom, emptied a child's potty that was in the room and then chained her again to the bed, according to Moses.

Her mother, Tia Lynette Whitehead, 33, surrendered to police at the Northwest District station Monday evening, police said. She was charged with second-degree child abuse, second-degree assault, false imprisonment and reckless endangerment.

Police said Whitehead's boyfriend, Samuel David Pounds Jr., 30, of the 2800 block of Santa Fe Ave., also turned himself in Monday and was charged with second-degree child abuse, second-degree assault, false imprisonment and reckless endangerment.

The police officer who responded to Deon's call for help, Fugiki Perry, went to Lincoln's house and met her younger brother, Juwan Whitehead. Moses said the officer heard someone yell, "I'm up here! Help! I'm up here!"

Perry went upstairs, where he found a bolted and padlocked door, Moses said. After asking, "What's wrong?" Perry heard someone in the room say, "I'm chained to the bed," Moses said.

Deon said 8-year-old Juwan, a friend with whom he often plays, never mentioned that Lincoln was trapped in her room. He said he could not explain why Juwan had not tried to help his sister.

Neighbors said that after Lincoln was freed by police, she walked from the house draped in a white blanket, ate a sandwich and drank from a plastic bottle.

Deborah Evans, 43, Deon's mother, said Lincoln had "black around her eyes" and looked "determined and angry."

Neighbors said yesterday that over the nearly three days that Lincoln told police she spent locked in her room they did not hear anything unusual. Jasmine Ramsey, 17, said she attended a cookout Sunday in a backyard a few feet from Lincoln's window.

Ramsey said she and a friend knocked on the door to Lincoln's house that day but received no response. But she said that was not unusual because Lincoln's mother would not let her outside very often.

"She started to get with boys, and I guess her mother didn't like it," Ramsey said. "I had seen her mother a couple of days before that, and everything was cool. I could not believe that her mother would do that."

Evans, Deon's mother, said, "Their mother's quiet. She always said `hi' and that's it. They seemed like pretty good neighbors. ... It's strange."

Police said Lincoln was placed in the custody of the Department of Child Protective Services, and Juwan was placed in the custody of his father.

chris.yakaitis@baltsun.com

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