Girl bound inside dog cage. Father threatened to electrify it. Via Google Images.
The lawyer for James Tapke claims that “some horseplay…got out of control”, which resulted in the accusation that Tapke punished his 12-year-old daughter by duct taping her hands and feet and putting her into a dog cage, which he later threatened to electrify.
NBC station WLWT of Cincinnati reports that the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Office said that on January 10, James Tapke, 41, restrained his 12-year-old daughter’s feet and hands with duct tape, then placed her in a dog cage. Investigators said that while Tapke’s daughter was in the cage, he dropped small amounts of water on the girl’s face.
Court papers indicate that the victim was caged for about 20 minutes before she was released by 13-year-old brother. Authorities said that after the girl got out, she poured water on her father’s head and into his ear.
Tapke again bound his daughter with duct tape and returned her to the dog cage, according to investigators. While she was in the cage, Tapke allegedly told his son to get an electrical jumper pack from the garage so that he could electrify the cage. The boy brought the jump pack and it was placed where the girl could see it, in front of the cage.
Investigators said that Tapke never tried to electrify the cage, but he did tell his daughter several times he would.
Tapke released the girl from the cage and her grandmother assisted her with removing the duct tape, according to authorities. Authorities also reported that the girl’s brother and father took pictures of her in the cage throughout the incident, some of which her brother posted on Facebook. The pictures were later deleted.
Tapke’s attorney, Christopher Jackson, claimed that the entire incident was a joke when he spoke in court on Thursday.
Jackson said, “We believe the evidence will eventually show that this was simply some horseplay that ended up, you know, taking pictures…It just doesn’t look that funny when you see it in pictures … Maybe not the best joke in the world, but I believe that’s what is going to come out later at trial.”
Assistant prosecutor Matt Broo responded, “Judge, if this is a joke, it’s about the most unfunny joke I’ve ever heard.
Tapke was charged with child endangering and a $50,000 bond was set for him.
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