CANONSBURG (KDKA) – Police say a man chained up his girlfriend’s 11-year-old son so that the boy couldn’t move from the table when he refused to eat his dinner.

North Strabane police say 38-year-old Joshua Smith told the boy he was going to finish eating his dinner, and when he didn’t, he chained him up so he couldn’t leave.

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Police say officers had to cut the chain off the boy’s right leg with wire cutters.

Officers were called to the home in the 100-block of Garden Street, after the child’s mother called them.

The boy told officers that Smith became angry when he refused to eat what was on his plate, and that Smith made him go out and get the dog chains out of the yard.

“[He] had vomited part of it back up onto the plate,” said Sgt. Joe Curnarski, of North Strabane Police. “The stepfather became enraged, told him to go outside to get a dog chain.”

When the boy came back, he said Smith put the chains around his leg, using copper wire to attach it. The boy suffered some abrasions on his leg in the incident.

Smith then nailed the other end of the chain to the stairs so the boy couldn’t move.

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The boy also told officers that Smith threatened to put a bucket next to the table so he could relieve himself.

“There is also a bucket there,” said Sgt. Curnarski. “The stepfather told him that if he wished he could relieve himself in the bucket.”

Just last month, police say they were called to the same house. Smith was arrested for alleged trying to strangle his girlfriend’s 16-year-old daughter.

Smith is now in the Washington County Jail charged with child endangerment, simple assault, harassment and false imprisonment.

If he makes bail, he is not permitted to return to that house or have any contact with the boy.

He’s scheduled for a preliminary hearing on May 28.

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