Las Cruces Parents Charged with Abuse
POSTED: Monday, September 13, 2010 - 11:01am
UPDATED: Monday, September 13, 2010 - 8:34pm
Las Cuces Police arrested the parents of two teenagers after police learned that they regularly punished their children by forcing them to walk several miles home and through harsh conditions.
The parents, Cheryl Coffelt, 52, and David Coffelt, 58, were arrested Saturday, Sept. 11. They are charged with one count each of intentional child abuse and negligent child abuse.
Detectives learned that, on at least three occasions between Aug. 30 and Sept. 4, the parents drove their 14- and 15-year-old sons to the Organ Mountains and dropped them off. The boys were then forced to walk back to their home in Las Cruces – a distance that covered five to seven miles over rough terrain. The boys told detectives that one of the treks took them roughly four hours to complete.
Detectives also learned that Cheryl and David Coffelt forced the boys to sleep in a room with no mattresses and no light bulb.
Las Cruces Police learned of the boys’ punishments, and the deplorable conditions they were kept in, on Saturday, Sept. 4, after one of the boys got into a physical altercation with both parents and then ran across the street and called police.
Cheryl and David Coffelt are both being held at the Dona Ana County Detention Center with cash bonds set at $20,000 each.