Florida Doctor & Lawyer Wife Charged With Child Abuse After ‘Zip-Tying’ 12-Year-Old Daughter’s Hands & Feet Together & Locking Her In A Cage
Sarasota, Florida — A doctor and his attorney wife have admitted to deputies they would habitually tie up their adopted daughter and lock her in a playhouse for her own good. The 12-year-old girl managed to run away to a neighbor’s house for help.
Scott Mackindoe thought his 18-year-old son’s phone call on Dec. 27 was a joke.
“A young female child at the door tied at her ankles and wrist,” recalls Mackindoe.
His son Sean describes what he saw. “I saw bruising here, here and two zip tie on the right, zip tie on the left and a zip tie connecting the two,” says Sean Mackindoe, 19.
The girl broke free from her home two doors down. She told Mackindoe’s son, “My parents abandoned me. I was left and ran away.”
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office deputies say the girl’s parents — Dr. Eugenio Erquiaga and his attorney wife, Victoria — would lock their adopted daughter inside the home’s loft for hours in a 5-by-7 foot playhouse.
“She wasn’t allowed to leave the playhouse to use the restroom. She’d have to do all that inside the house the playhouse,” says Lt. Joe Giasone, Criminal Investigative Section for the sheriff’s office.
The couple told deputies they recently started zip tying their daughter after seeing the method used in a police episode on TV. The couple told deputies they did this to protect her and her six siblings from their daughter’s violent outbursts.
“I can’t see anyone tying up any child in that manner,” says Scott Mackindoe.
Giasone thinks the couple may have thought they were doing what was best for their daughter. “The bottom line is the law says you can’t restrain or cage a child,” says Giasone.
A Sarasota judge set the couple’s bail at $5,000 each.
The couple’s attorney Derek Byrd says the public should not be too quick to judge these parents. “I’m certain any people in the public would say that’s not the way they would handle it and they’re entitled to their opinion. The question is, is it criminal to handle a problematic child that way?” says Byrd.
Erquiaga has worked as a radiologist with Radiology Associates of Venice for 20 years.
Michael Kimball, the group’s practice administrator, says, “He’s been a good physician. I look forward to the justice system taking its course.”
The 12-year-old girl is one of three adopted children. The couple also has four biological kids all ranging from 5 to 13 years old. Deputies say none of the other children complained of abuse or neglect to the sheriff’s office or the Department of Children and Families.
Dr. Erquiaga did report his daughter missing. The sheriff’s office released the father’s 911 call where he tells the dispatcher his daughter is emotionally disturbed. According to the call, Erquiaga made the call 15 to 20 minutes after he noticed her missing. He told the dispatcher he tried searching for her but lost her track.
DCF has custody of the couple’s other children. Deputies say DCF has had contact with the couple in the past but the state agency won’t release any details.
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