Police: Couple Abused Adopted Kids

Date: 2007-08-10
Source: 11alive.com

Police: Couple Abused Adopted Kids

MCDONOUGH, Ga. (AP) -- Authorities have arrested a man and his wife on charges of abusing their two adopted children.

Earl Thomas Dinkler, 42, and his wife, Deborah Williamson Dinkler, 41, have been charged with two counts of cruelty to children and battery under the Family Violence Act.

Police began investigating the couple after a 911 call from a neighbor on Saturday.

Police said the Dinklers' 13-year-old daughter came to a neighbor's house Saturday morning, sweating and scared to go home, but left before the neighbor could help. Later that day, the girl came back to the neighbor's house dirty, sweating and hungry, police said.

The girl told the neighbor she had been hiding under the neighbor's house for more than two hours and was afraid of being punished for not doing exercises, according to a police report.

The children had been forced to run 15 laps around the house before breakfast "just about every day" for the last four years, McDonough Police Capt. Kyle Helgerson said.

The punishments for the daughter and 11-year-old son included spankings with either a belt or a miniature Louisville Slugger baseball bat, the police report said.

According to the police report, Earl Dinkler said the spankings and exercises were used as a way to deal with the children's "anger problems." Dinkler told police the children were not allowed to eat until they had finished their exercises, but were allowed to have water.

When police took the children to Henry Medical Center to be examined, they found several bruises on each child. The children have been placed in the custody of child welfare officials.

A hearing for the Dinklers has been set for Aug. 17.

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