Missouri man charged with restraining children with zip ties

LAWSON, Mo. — A western Missouri man has been charged with restraining children with zip ties and keeping them in a cardboard box overnight.

Thirty-two-year-old Gary Wyant, of Lawson, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 11 felony counts of child abuse and two counts of evidence tampering. Wyant has been released on bond. His attorney didn’t immediately return a phone message.

The probable cause affidavit says authorities began investigating in May after one child talked to a teacher. KMBC-TV reports that Ray County Prosecuting Attorney Camille Johnston says police identified at least four victims, some of whom claim Wyant zip-tied their hands and feet before putting them in a box. The affidavit says Wyant also used a paddle dubbed “The Enforcer.”

Johnston says there is “zero tolerance in regards to this.”