As if finding a 25-pound five-year-old who couldn't speak wasn't horrific enough, when authorities discovered that the child's stepfather refused to claim responsibility for him because of the child's race, they were appalled.
According to Daytona Beach's WFTV, 29-year-old Brian Hall, who is married to the boy's mother, told police "he is not my responsibility; I’m not his father. I come from a rich and white family" after he was arrested for failure to report child abuse (a felony that could result in up to five years in prison).
The boy's mother, Naomi Hall, had already been arrested for neglecting her child and has since posted bail.
According to a police report about the child, Hall pointed to the two other children who lived in the home who are biologically his, and said "those two are taken care of."
The report also stated that the five-year-old weighed a mere 24.9 pounds, a weight so low that he didn't even register on growth charts, and was reaching for cereal to eat in the carpet when child services found him on June 28. His hands and feet were orange and blistered, apparently from chewing at them -- an action his mother said let him know he was hungry because he is nonverbal. She also told police she often would not feed the boy for days at a time, and that he was not on his required medication for some developmental issues he has.
As The Root reported, Naomi and Brian Hall were both released on bond pending conviction for child abuse and neglect, and has been granted visitation with him while he's in the hospital receiving physical and speech therapy. .
Read about the case below, via WFTV reporter Mike Springer on Twitter.
Husband arrested for not reporting child abuse. Wife was arrested last week when police found 5yo weighing under 25… https://t.co/fzvBoqPg7n— Mike Springer WFTV (@Mike Springer WFTV)1499262876.0
Police say Hall told them the child isn't his or his responsibility https://t.co/Jw88i2Ousj— Mike Springer WFTV (@Mike Springer WFTV)1499265665.0
Police claim Hall told them he comes from a rich, white family & the other two kids in the home that are his, Hall… https://t.co/FcpW2Ns2Yy— Mike Springer WFTV (@Mike Springer WFTV)1499265766.0
The child remains in the ICU at Halifax Health. He's undergoing speech and physical therapy there— Mike Springer WFTV (@Mike Springer WFTV)1499266441.0
Failure to report child abuse or neglect in Florida is a 3rd degree felony— Mike Springer WFTV (@Mike Springer WFTV)1499273495.0
It's punishable by up to 5 years in prison— Mike Springer WFTV (@Mike Springer WFTV)1499273512.0