A couple from a Chicago suburb are in custody after they left their 5-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter bound and blindfolded outside a Wal-Mart in Lawrence, Kan., police there said Thursday.
On Wednesday, police responded to a call from a concerned citizen. When they arrived, they discovered the boy sitting on the ground near an SUV with his hands tied behind his back and his legs bound. The boy was also blindfolded. Police approached the vehicle and saw a man standing near the car.
"When (the man) saw the officer, he tried to get away from him," Lawrence police spokesman Sgt. Trent McKinley said, the Associated Press reported. The man tried to flee. He ducked inside the car and the officer, concerned that he could be reaching for a weapon, used a stun gun on him and promptly arrested him, McKinley said.
The girl was found inside the vehicle. She was also bound and blindfolded. Three other children ages 12, 13 and 15, were inside the car, but not restrained.
"The remaining three didn't want to come out of the car. They locked the doors and remained in the vehicle for some period of time," said McKinley, according to KSHB.
Officers continued to investigate the scene. They found the children's mother inside the store and arrested her as well.
Aldolfo Gomez Jr., 52, and his wife, Deborah Gomez, 43, are facing two counts of child abuse and five counts of child endangerment, reported KSHB.
"This is an extremely unusual circumstance," McKinley said.
Customers at the Wal-Mart were shocked.
"Crazy. I can't believe something like that right where we live would actually happen. It is terrible," Jody Steiner said, according to KCTV. "It is a crazy world we live in. I don't get it. I don't know why anyone would do that. It just breaks my heart."
Police say they have been unable to come up with a motive for the crime.
Upon further investigation, police learned the Gomez family is from Northlake, Ill. They were driving out to visit their family in Arizona, but had to pull over in Lawrence due to transmission problems, reported the AP.
A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart said that company will provide any assistance they can.
"We are working closely with the Lawrence police department and providing any information we have," Ashley Hardie said.
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