Parents of a two-year-old and a 10-month-old say it was just a joke to post their kids' photos on Facebook with the children’s mouths, wrists and ankles duct taped. One child was hanging upside down from an exercise machine.
USA Today reports the parents have been arrested on suspicion of child abuse after someone on the social site saw the photos on the mother’s Facebook page and alerted the Arizona Child Abuse Hotline anonymously.
Commander Rex Gilliland of the sheriff's office told KSAZ, Phoenix "Clearly you can't tape another person's hands and mouth shut, especially small children. It is clearly child abuse and they were charged appropriately.”
Gilliland adds, "I am shocked and horrified and I will tell you that in 30 years in law enforcement in Arizona this is one of the most horrendous things I have ever seen."
The couple, Frankie and Kayla Almuina, were arrested and each charged with two counts of child abuse.
This isn’t the first incident of its kind.
Four years ago a boy, 2, died in Tulsa, Oklahoma after a daycare worker bound his hands an mouth with masking tape.
In 2010 a mother and her teen boyfriend were arrested when they duct taped her toddler to the wall. The mother regained custody of her son.
Andre Curry, Chicago, Illinois, was arrested after he allegedly used purple painter's tape to bind his one year old daughter.
The photos were also posted on Facebook, with a caption that read, "This is wut happens wen my baby hits me back. : )" The story was reported December 21 by KSAZ.
Fortunately, the Almuina children were not harmed and are in the custody of their grandparents. Gilliland said, “By the look on their faces, they were in sheer terror. I don't know how this could have been a joke". An investigation is pending.