Father faces abuse charges

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Ruttley accused of locking kids in basement

By Sarah Bennett

A Radcliff father faces a charge of criminal abuse after police say his children accused him of locking them in a basement and striking one child with an extension cord.

Christopher W. Ruttley, 37, was arrested Tuesday afternoon on a charge of second-degree criminal abuse.

Bryce Shumate, spokesman for Radcliff Police Department, said officers performed a “welfare check” at Ruttley’s residence on Eagle Pass after receiving a call from the children’s mother.

The three juveniles contacted their mother and reported Ruttley locked them in the basement and “whipped” them with a cord, Shumate said, which led the woman to call police.

According to Shumate, the mother normally has custody of the children, but they were in the father’s care for the duration of summer break.

The responding officer did not find the children in the basement, Shumate said, but the children continued to say they were locked inside it and unable to leave.

One of the children, who is younger than 12, told the officer his father “whipped” him with an extension cord, Shumate said. This child also had “swelling/bruising to his left hip,” according to a citation.

Ruttley denied locking the children in a basement but told officers he struck the child with a coat hanger Monday night, Shumate said.

While inside the home, the officer checked the basement and found there were two locks on the outside the door, he said.

“If you were down in the basement, you would not be able to open the door,” Shumate said.

According to Shumate, Social Services also responded to the residence.

The abuse charge covers the striking of the child who was bruised, he said. Officers were unable to prove Tuesday afternoon the children had been locked inside the basement. Shumate said the investigation is ongoing.

Ruttley remains lodged at Hardin County Detention Center on Wednesday afternoon in lieu of a $5,000 cash bond. He was arraigned via video feed Wednesday morning in Hardin District Court and is scheduled to appear June 28 for a preliminary hearing.

Second-degree criminal abuse is a Class D felony, which is punishable by one to five years in prison if found guilty, according to Kentucky Revised Statutes.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.