Crime

Mom’s boyfriend held boy, 7, hostage in bedroom for four months, sheriff says

A 7-year-old Kettleman City boy held hostage in his bedroom for four months — allowed out only to eat and attend school — was rescued this week by Kings County sheriff’s deputies.

A live-in boyfriend, Juan Manuel Gutierrez, 25, was arrested on child abuse charges and is being held on $600,000 bail.

As deputies arrested Gutierrez on Wednesday, the boy asked a deputy, “Can I give you a hug?” according to Assistant Sheriff Dave Putnam.

Putnam said the boy’s mother was battered and threatened by Gutierrez, especially when she stood up for her son, who shared the home with two sisters.

Gutierrez reportedly admitted keeping the boy in the room as punishment for fighting with one of the girls. The boy was sometimes given a bucket in which to urinate, according to Putnam.

Deputies are seeking more information about the case and asked anyone who can help to call (559) 852-2720.

Assistant Sheriff Dave Putnam said deputies were tipped off the case by family members

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