A Fort Wayne man is behind bars after police say he locked his son in a feces-covered basement while vacationing in Florida.
Court documents show 38-year-old Eric Urbano locked his emotionally challenged son
in the basement of a home in the 1400 block of Spy Run Avenue from October to March.
Police responded to a call about a fight on March 6th, and followed what neighbors say is a 10-year old boy
home and found him living alone in horrendous conditions.
According to court documents, the boy told police his father locks him in the basement every night. He says he would also be locked up if he ate too much. The boy says he would sometimes escape to use the bathroom at a local fast food restaurant and try to get food there.
“We’ve never seen anything like this in this area,” Department of Child Services Communications Director Ann Houseworth said.
Court documents reveal that the boy was sleeping on an air mattress surrounded by feces. But the boy says once his mattress popped he slept on the deflated plastic and bundled his jacket for a pillow.
Court documents show the boy’s mother, who lives in Arizona, told police her son has Tourette’s Syndrome, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Bi-Polar disorder
. She says she hasn’t spoken with her son in six months.
Neighbors say they were happy to see the family move into the neighborhood in October, but are shocked to learn the disturbing details.
“Last time we saw he was playing outside with his dogs in October,” a neighbor who didn’t want to be identified said. “And he seemed happy then. No bruises or anything like that. There were no warning signs. That's horrible. That kind of sickens me that we didn't see anything.”
Another neighbor said he returned one of Urbano’s five dogs to the house a few months ago. He says he was very friendly at the time.
“The guy was so oh thank you, oh thank you, for finding my dog,” Jeffery Schweyer said. “He was so nice that day. That's why I can't believe all this is happening, because he was so polite.”
Court documents show the boy told his teacher about his living conditions. The teacher then reportedly notified the Department of Child Services. But no word when this happened or what DCS did about the situation.
Urbano told police on March 8th he was in Florida and had been there for three days. Court documents show he admitted that he does keep his son in the basement of the home frequently.
According to court documents, the Urbano left the child notes to remind him how to care for himself while he was gone, what dishes he was allowed to use, not to eat too much, and not to use the phone unless some one calls.
When police entered the home they say they found feces in every room and syringes and vials containing a liquid substance.
Urbano turned himself into the Allen County Jail Wednesday. He is behind bars and faces a Class D felony for neglect of a dependent.
Department of Child Service officials say the boy is in foster care.