Florida couple arrested for allegedly locking up their kids, aged 2 and 6, in homemade cages, police say

A couple allegedly locked up their boys in homemade cages at home, according to Florida police.

The parents, 35-year-old Dustin Huff and 31-year-old Yurui Xie, are said to be biological scientists who work at the University of Florida. Their children are 2 years old and 6 years old.

The older boy told an employee at the school he attended that he didn’t want to go home because he was being put in a cage that his father built.

When officers of the Gainesville police investigated, they found the homemade cage, but the boy’s father said that it was simply a bed frame that had been left in the boy’s room for about a year.

Police said they found a second makeshift cage in the parents’ room that they believe was used to hold the 2-year-old boy.

The mother reportedly told police that her son had ADHD and was disobedient, making it very difficult for her to find day care for him. She also claimed that he was only left alone at the home while they were at work.

The 6-year-old boy reportedly told police that he slept in the cage overnight and was made to wear training pants rather than be allowed to use the bathroom.

The cages had rails and springs that would harm the children if they moved inside, according to WCJB-TV.

The parents were booked on child abuse and neglect charges after being arrested on Friday. They were placed on administrative leave from their jobs on Monday.

The children were placed in the custody of the Department of Children and Families and later released to members of the family who had been vetted by officials.

“I’m not used to walking in seeing a cage where children are kept at night and of course, when home alone, so yeah that was a little shocking,” said Sgt. John Pandak of the Gainesville Police to WOFL-TV.

WCJB reported that the university removed pages from its website that previously described their employment.

Here’s a local news report about the incident:

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