Local News

Largo man arrested for confining child in freezer

LARGO, Fla. (AP) -- A 23-year-old man was charged with aggravated child abuse after police said he disciplined his girlfriend's five-year-old son by stuffing him into a chest freezer.

Largo police say Nicholas Jermaine Black was arrested after officers investigated an anonymous tip to the state's child abuse hot line.

The boy's mother, Melissa Bentley Hansen, was charged with child neglect because she was present during some of the incidents.

Police said Black put the boy inside the running freezer and sat on top to keep him inside at least five times since mid-October. Caging a child is illegal in Florida.

The boy apparently was kept inside for no more than two minutes. He and his 11-year-old sister showed no signs of physical abuse and appeared to be otherwise well-fed and clothed. Both are staying with relatives.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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