Neighbors say they're "shocked" that couple locked child in cage - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Neighbors say they're "shocked" that couple locked child in cage

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) -- There are new details emerging about a husband and wife arrested by Alexandria police for allegedly locking one of their seven children in a cage.

Police say 52-year-old Joseph Chapman and his wife 35-year-old Jennifer Chapman were charged with "cruelty to a juvenile" after acting on a child abuse tip last week.

News Channel 5's Brooke Buford went out to the neighborhood to talk to neighbors about the family and the arrest.

Neighbors say they knew something was up at a home in the 1300-block of Park Avenue, but they just didn't know what.

"It's something twisted," said Pamela Burns, a neighbor.

"I kind of figured something weird or strange was going on," said Matthew Cross, another neighbor.

Alexandria police say they acted on a tip that Joseph and Jennifer Chapman were keeping one of their seven kids in a cage.

Police say Joseph Chapman admitted to it.

"Once our officers got there, they were informed by child protection services that they were acting on a tip that a child was being held in some type of cage in the residence," said Lt. Bruce Fairbanks of the Alexandria Police Department. "This information was confirmed once contact was made with parents."

Pamela Burns, who lives down the street says her daughter would often try to play with one of the Chapman's sons, but he wasn't allowed to leave the house.

She says she was shocked to hear they were arrested.

"All I saw when i came out of my house was child protection and the police," said Burns. "We were wondering, what? What's going on? Then everything got out and about and I said, what? I just can't believe that! I really couldn't. I couldn't believe it."

Another neighbor, Matthew Cross, says he was surprised as well.

"It's kind of strange that they would do that to kids," he said. "They have a van that they drive that has Bible scriptures on it. It just doesn't make any sense."

Police say whenever you see something suspicious, don't be afraid to speak up. You never know who's life you may be saving.

"Anytime that you feel a child is being abused either sexually or physically, always either contact the police department or child protection services and report it," said Lt. Fairbanks.

Joseph and Jennifer Chapman were booked into the Rapides Parish Jail, but posted $1,500 bond each.

Meanwhile, we're told the seven children were removed from the house by authorities.

We tried to get in touch with the family, but were unable to.

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