ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Police have uncovered a terrible story of abuse after a 5-year-old boy showed up at the hospital drunk.
The boy was drunk off mouthwash. He said he was so thirsty he had to drink it. He says he was also forced to drink water from the toilet.
Now, his dad and stepmom are behind bars, and police say the history of abuse runs deep.
According to police, the kids opened up about all the abuse they have suffered in their short lives.
Police say the 5-year-old boy and his two siblings were subjected to physical abuse with hangers, shoes and other objects by his dad, 25-year-old old Tyriese Howard and his girlfriend, 23-year-old Breya Allen, who the kids refer to as “mom.”
According to the criminal complaint, the conditions were so bad, the boy ended up in the hospital with a .20 blood alcohol level after drinking mouthwash because he was thirsty.
Doctors told police the boy’s scars show he’s been abused his whole life.
Albuquerque police said they have been called out to the apartment seven times over the past three years. Two of those were welfare checks.
The Albuquerque Police Department could not say if those two calls were to check on the kids, but the latest came just in February.
The children told officers about the pattern of abuse — something which neighbors say they witnessed first hand.
“Whenever the mom would get upset, she would grab the kids from one arm, and like, drag them,” one neighbor said.
The Children, Youth and Families Department could only confirm that the boy and a sibling are now staying with a foster family, but would not confirm if CYFD case workers have ever been called out to the family home for reports of abuse.
Both Allen and Howard appeared before a judge Friday, but because of their lack of prior criminal records, the judge agreed on $50,000 cash or surety bonds for the two.
Police say among the calls they responded to at the apartment were reports of disturbances, noise and a custody dispute.
Another disturbing detail of the case — the kids told police that they were threatened not to tell anyone about the abuse. They say the parents would tell them, “snitches get switches.”