REPORT: Man forced neighbors do chores so ‘they knew what it was like to be slaves’

JUNE 2, 2018

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A 12-year-old Centralia, Washington, boy disappeared Wednesday morning — and before he made it home, a neighbor turned the boy and his family into yard work “slaves,” police said.

The boy was supposed to be starting his mother’s car before school when he went missing, police said. When the family began looking for him before 8 a.m., the mother and her two other children, 13 and 15, quickly discovered the missing 12-year-old in a neighboring yard, which belonged to Wellington Waggener, 29, according to police.

The article goes on to state the following:

But the boy hadn’t gone of his own volition, police said: Waggener had instructed the boy to “come here” and then had grabbed the hesitant child by the coat, forcibly moving the boy to Waggener’s yard, the family said. That’s where Waggener struck the boy in the face and made him do chores like sweeping, the Lewis County Daily Chronicle reports.

Once the boy’s family got to Waggener’s yard, the mother and siblings tried explaining that the boy needed to go to school, Fitzgerald said. It didn’t go well.

Waggener insisted to the family that he needed the boy’s help — and then forced the other family members to help with the yard work as well, telling them that now “they knew what it was like to be slaves,” the 15-year-old boy told police, according to the Daily Chronicle.

The chores the family told police they were forced to do included piling firewood and picking up garbage, KCPQ reports. The family described Waggener as “huge and intimidating,” police said.

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