80ºF

Riviera Beach couple accused of locking children in closet

Teen says he, 12-year-old girl never went to school, doctor under care of Quincy Hazel, Sabrina Golden-Hazel

Quincy Hazel and Sabrina Golden-Hazel face child neglect charges after police say they locked two children in a closet at their Riviera Beach home for years, forcing them to use the bathroom in a bucket and depriving them of medical care. (Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office)

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. – A Riviera Beach couple was arrested Monday after a teenager told police he was forced to live in a closet at their home.

Quincy Hazel and Sabrina Golden-Hazel, both 44, are accused of neglecting two children, ages 12 and 17, for several years. They were arrested on charges of child neglect causing great bodily harm.

According to a Riviera Beach police report, the 17-year-old boy ran away from home about four weeks ago and had been living in a car.

The teen told police that he was afraid to go back home because Golden-Hazel "abuses him and locks him in the closet."

According to the report, the teen said he and the 12-year-old girl were forced to live in a closet when they were younger. He said they were locked inside the closet, where they were forced to eat and go to the bathroom in buckets.

The teen said that he "would kick and punch the door, hoping that somebody would hear him and help them." He also said that he had no concept of time because they would be locked in the closet for several days at a time, never seeing sunlight.

ALSO: Arrest report details stepmother's actions before boy, 3, found dead

According to the report, the boy said that they were fed rice and neck bones, but he "was always hungry." On the rare occasion that they were released, the boy told police, he "would sneak food from the house and has even eaten out of the garbage cans on several occasions."

The teen claimed he was always hungry because Golden-Hazel never took care of him. The boy told police that he has never attended school or gone to see a doctor in his life. At night, the boy said, he would often cry from the pain caused by the damage and decay of his teeth.

He told police that Hazel, whom the boy saw on a daily basis, knew what was going on but never stopped it. He also said Hazel physically abused him "with extension cords and various other items."

ALSO: Garbage, human feces found throughout North Miami home

According to the report, a relative told police that the family has 11 children, but only the 17-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl were subjected to that abuse. She told police that she was kicked out of the house at 13 but has stayed there on and off for several years. A few years ago, the woman recalled, the girl pretended to be dead, scaring the family to the point that Golden-Hazel moved the children out of the closet. She said the children now sleep on the floor.

When a detective went to the home to interview the family, the girl "appeared to be very scared when speaking" to the detective "and began crying." The girl said that she goes to school and had seen a doctor a day earlier, but the detective who wrote the report noted that it "was clear" she had been "coached in what to say."

The girl then put her head down, began to cry and confessed that she has never been to school or a doctor. She also said that she used to live in the closet but isn't there anymore.

According to the report, Golden-Hazel told police that the children were making up stories. She said that she had home-schooled the children, but police said there were no books in the home and that neither child was registered to be home-schooled in the state.

Golden-Hazel also told police that she never took the kids to the doctor or dentist, according to the report, "because they did not want to go." She denied ever locking them in the closet or starving them.

According to the report, Hazel told police that Golden-Hazel was in charge of scheduling doctor and dentist appointments for the kids, admitting that he didn't know if they had ever been. Hazel also said that he sees the kids daily and "has not noticed any major health concerns."

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter@WPLGLocal10