Boy Found Walking on Highway Tells Police He Ran Away, Alleges Abuse and Confinement

October 16, 2019 Updated: October 16, 2019

A Wisconsin man is facing several felony charges after an 8-year-old boy was found wandering alone on a highway amid allegations of child abuse.

Nathan Pogrant, 36, is charged with physical abuse of a child, false imprisonment, causing mental harm, possession of THC, and bail jumping, CBS affiliate WSAW reported.

Deputies in Shawano County received a call that the boy was wandering alone on Highway 45. He was apparently hungry and had on large shoes that didn’t fit.

The boy, according to officials, was dirty and “probably had not showered in several days,” it was reported.

Officials said the child first said he was dropped off in the area of the highway, but then he told investigators that he ran away from home.

The child, who was not named, said he was forced to sit on a chair in the basement for the past two nights.

Nathan Pogrant in a mugshot photo (Shawano County Jail)

Deputies alleged that Pogrant “gets mad at him and puts him in a chair in the basement,”  WSAW reported. He was only given a peanut butter sandwich on the previous day.

A criminal complaint said the child lives with his mother and Pogrant in Eland, Wisconsin, Fox11 reported.

The complaint read, “He stated he had to sit in a chair in the basement for the last 2 nights and 1 day. He kept saying he didn’t want to go back to that house. He stated he peed himself while seated in the chair and now his butt hurts from peeing himself. He stated Nathan gets mad at him and puts him in the chair in the basement,” as reported by the Fox affiliate.

Pogrant then allegedly told the child he will have to “live down in the basement.”

“He stated that Nathan put a straight jacket (hooded sweatshirt) and then tied a cord around his body (he) stated that he steals food and then Nathan told him that they would break his fingers if he steals more food,” the complaint said.

Police tape is shown in Toronto, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
Police tape is shown in a stock photo (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)

What’s more, the child had bruises on his legs, arm, back, and face. He also had marks on his stomach that appear to be consistent with being tied up, officials said.

Initially, the mother, who was not identified, said her son “makes up stories” but eventually admitted she knew he was being tied up in a chair.

The boy “has been placed in the chair and restrained at least once a week, sometimes twice a week,” the complaint alleged.

The mother was not charged in the case. She also expressed fear that Pogrant would harm her as well.

But when investigators asked why she didn’t intervene, she replied, “I don’t know,” according to a local station.

Pogrant was jailed in lieu of a $25,000 cash bond.