Kansas police arrested a Chicago couple on Wednesday after a customer witnessed two children bound by the hands and feet as the kids sat blindfolded near a SUV in a Walmart parking lot.
The customer reported what she saw to the police, and when they arrived, they found a 5-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl sitting outside a vehicle with their hands tied behind their back, their feet bound, and the girl was blindfolded.
A man, who turned out to be the children’s father was seen standing beside the vehicle as well.
When the father, 52-year-old Adolfo Gomez of Northlake Illinois, saw the police approach, he ran around the vehicle to try to get inside it. The officers were not sure if he was trying to get a weapon from the vehicle, so they used a stun gun to subdue him and place him under arrest.
According to the report, there were also three older children found in the Chevy Suburban unbound. The mother, 43-year-old Deborah Gomez, was then found by police shopping inside the Walmart and also taken into custody.
The vehicle was parked on the edge of the parking lot next to a wall with the children hidden out of normal view between them. Police were thankful that the female customer just happened to spot them. “We’re very fortunate that she saw this, because it didn’t occur in the middle of the parking lot,” said Lawrence Police Sgt. Trent McKinley.
“This is an extremely unusual circumstance,” McKinley said, adding that he does not know why the two children were blindfolded and bound.
McKinley said Gomez and his wife were arrested for felony child endangerment and child abuse, and Gomez was also charged with resisting arrested. The family had been traveling from Illinois, leaving behind financial problems, to Arizona, when they broke down with transmission problems in Lawrence.
All 5 children, that were unharmed, were later placed into protective custody, and other family members were contacted so arrangements could be made to have the children released to them.
Bonds for both parents were set at $50,000. They were appointed public defenders, and preliminary hearings were scheduled for June 21.