TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An eight-year-old boy was rescued on Monday (July 5) at his home in Miaoli County after he called his mother and told her his father had chained him to an elliptical, CNA reported.
The Miaoli County Fire Bureau received reports around 10:30 a.m. Monday that a boy was chained down in a residence in Toufen City and needed help. When firefighters arrived, they found the boy chained around the waist with the other end of the links affixed to an elliptical in the living room.
Firefighters used pliers and hydraulic cutters to cut him free, which took nearly 20 minutes.
The boy’s mother, surnamed Hu (胡), has lived in Taoyuan since her divorce from the boy’s father. Hu said she was awakened by her son’s call, recounting her shock when she arrived in Toufen and beheld the unbelievable sight of her son chained up like a prisoner.
The boy said his father had to go to work, adding, “I was chained because I was disobedient.”
Neighbors said they felt sorry for the boy, who they said they had heard crying in the past after receiving corporal punishment.
After his rescue, the boy’s mother accompanied him to a hospital to be examined and to apply for a protection order. The mother also spoke to social workers, reportedly for assistance with placing her child, and notified the local prosecutor.
Chang Guo-tung (張國棟), deputy director at the Miaoli County Government Social Affairs Department, said that even though the father had no record of domestic violence, his actions constituted a violation of the Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act.
Chang said the department will assess whether the boy’s father has sufficient ability and resources to care for his son and whether he should be stripped of his custody rights, though he offered no clarity on the likelihood of this outcome.