Zip-tied 4-year-old: Two arrested for child abuse

A man and woman zip-tied a 4-year-old to a baby gate, say Raleigh police. The 4-year-old has been taken out of their custody.

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North Carolina authorities are accusing a couple of using zip ties to bind their 4-year-old daughter's wrists and ankles to a baby gate.

Raleigh police say 26-year-old Gerald Thomas Swinehart and 28-year-old Marlaine Victoria Coffey are accused of tying the child to a gate with plastic zip ties of a type normally used by electricians. They also say Swinehart pushed or kicked the girl so hard her lower teeth broke through her lower lip.

Arrest warrants say the abuse occurred earlier this year. The child was taken into the custody of social services on March 31.

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Swinehart is charged with two counts of intentional child abuse inflicting serious physical injury and is being held under $100,000 bond. Coffey faces one count and is being held under $50,000 bond. It's not known if they have attorneys.

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