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Police: Father arrested after one child found in dog cage, another naked outside

Tulsa County Jail

Tulsa, Okla., police say William Lewallen was arrested for child abuse/neglect.

A Tulsa, Okla., man was arrested after his 16-month-old daughter was found locked in a metal dog cage and covered with feces and his naked 3-year old son was found crying outside on a cold afternoon, police said.

William Todd Lewallen, 47, was arrested for felony child abuse or neglect. He was found in a stupor in bed with a third child, a 3-year-old boy who was also naked, Tulsa police said. 

The three children were turned over to the custody of the state Department of Human Services.


Police made the disturbing find on Sunday afternoon when they responded to a neighbor’s call about a child crying outside, with the temperature in the low 40s.

“He was screaming, ‘Daddy, let me in! I’m cold!’” one neighbor, Matthew Testerman, told the Tulsa World.

Other neighbors took the boy in and warmed him up.

Arriving officers heard screaming and crying coming from inside the house. They looked through a small back window and saw a child inside a metal dog crate, Officer Leland Ashley with the Tulsa Police Department told local media.

Officers kicked open the back door. "Upon entry officers were immediately hit with the overwhelming stench of feces," Ashley was quoted as saying.

Police removed the 16-month-old girl from the kennel. She was wearing only a diaper and was covered in feces, police said.

Officers found the father passed out in a bed in the master bedroom, with another naked toddler asleep in the bed.

The father reportedly told police he took narcotic pain medicine, a muscle relaxant and an anti-seizure medication with a beer and then "laid down to take a rest."

"The defendant was unaware that a naked child had been locked out of his house and was outside in the 40 degree weather for over 20 minutes," the arrest report states, according to NewsOn6.com. "The screaming child in the dog kennel did not wake the defendant nor did the officers kicking the door down to rescue the toddler in the dog cage."

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The children showed no sign of physical injury, according to police.

Leland said the children’s mother was at work at the time and arrived home just as officers were preparing to leave.

Lewallen was being held in the Tulsa jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.               

Records show he has been charged in eight felony cases in four counties since 1989, according to the Tulsa World. He has been convicted in the past of joyriding and possession of a precursor to manufacture a controlled drug – methamphetamine, according to NewsOn6.com.

The investigation is continuing, Ashley told NBC News on Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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