A 10-year-old boy has been removed from his parents on Tuesday (May 17) after police found him chained in the backyard of his home in Jardia, Montijo.
The child, identified only as Bruno, was apparently being “punished” for his recent behaviour after “attacking a schoolmate, vandalising a neighbour’s house with graffiti and stealing one of his neighbour’s dogs”.
He was found chained up after an anonymous tip to GNR police, and has now been placed in institutional care.
In an interview with SIC television, the boy’s mother said his behaviour had become uncontrollable.
“He failed a school year and in the last months I’ve been called to his school several times, one time because he hit one of his schoolmates,” she said.
“They made him do chores at school, but it hasn’t worked. He just laughs and says he wants to leave school.”
Neighbours have also spoken of the children’s “erratic” behaviour. “He painted graffiti on one of my walls and I had to speak to his father,” a neighbour told Jornal de Notícias.
Apparently, Bruno had complained to the woman that his father hit him. “The father told me he didn’t, but that this time he would have to apply some military-style punishments,” she added.
Another neighbour described Bruno as “mischievous” and “out of control”.
“One time, he threw all the flowers I had placed in my yard down a well. He then went up to the storage room of the house and ripped out all the electrical wires.”
Despite the boy’s behaviour, neighbours say they are shocked that his parents chained him up.
According to Correio da Manhã, his father works in the Alentejo and isn’t home very often, while his mother works from 7am to 1pm and “isn’t able to keep him under control”. Neighbours describe the parents as “hard-working” people.
PJ police are investigating, while the local CPCJ (child protection commission) is due to interrogate the parents.