2 arrested after customer sees children bound in parking lot - KCTV5

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2 arrested after customer sees children bound in Walmart parking lot

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Photo Courtesy: KCTV5's Eric Chaloux Photo Courtesy: KCTV5's Eric Chaloux
Photo Courtesy: KCTV5's Eric Chaloux Photo Courtesy: KCTV5's Eric Chaloux
Photo Courtesy: KCTV5 Photographer Brett Hacker Photo Courtesy: KCTV5 Photographer Brett Hacker
Photo Courtesy: KCTV5's Eric Chaloux Photo Courtesy: KCTV5's Eric Chaloux
LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV) -

Two people are in custody after a customer at a Lawrence, KS, Walmart believed they saw children bound and restrained in the parking lot.

Police responded to the Walmart, located at 550 Congressional Dr., at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday after a customer reported suspicious activity.

Authorities said a 5-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl were bound with their hands behind their backs and blindfolded in the parking lot. Police were not releasing the details on what the children were bound with.

Shoppers at the Walmart were shocked. Jody Steiner takes her son shopping there often and hasn't ever had a problem.

"Crazy. I can't believe something like that right where we live would actually happen. It is terrible," Steiner said. "It is a crazy world we live in. I don't get it. I don't know why anyone would do that. It just breaks my heart."

Steiner is happy the shopper did the right thing and called police.

Investigators say the family is from North Lake, IL, and were headed to Arizona when their SUV broke down. Police suspect they had been camped out in the parking lot since Monday. The first officers on the scene spotted the boy and a man standing near the SUV. They tried to question the man but say he wouldn't cooperate so they tasered him.

"Once we had that male in custody, we took custody of the children, two of which were outside the car, and we brought them over to an ambulance we had come out to check their welfare. Three remained in the car for some time before they would come out and speak with officers," Sgt. Trent McKinley with the Lawrence Police Department said.

Officers made contact with a total of five children ranging in age from about 5 years old to 15 years old who were inside the vehicle. Three of those children wouldn't get out of the car for about an hour until special juvenile officers came and talked them out.

The children were not taken to a hospital, but paramedics checked them out at the scene. Police currently have the five children in their care.

A woman who was inside the Walmart was also taken into custody. Authorities said the two in custody are not being cooperative with police.

Police are trying to contact the family's relatives in Illinois but, in the meantime, the parents are in custody facing two counts of child abuse and five counts of child endangerment.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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