Teacher who spotted chains credited with stopping New Jersey foster abuse

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A keen-eyed teacher who called police after spotting what appeared to be chains on a student is being credited with stopping a horrific case of alleged foster abuse in New Jersey.

The Newark teacher called for a wellness check after observing the chains during a virtual class

Officers were let into the Clinton Avenue home by a third floor tenant, and on the second floor, they found the 12-year-old boy hiding under a blanket in the bedroom.

They say his wrists were chained, and he was tethered to a piece of exercise equipment

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They say the foster mother, 66-year-old Wanser Brown, showed up about 20 minutes later and admitted to police she restrained the child in that way because he has a tendency to run out of the house, especially when she's in the shower.

Brown was arrested and charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

"Thanks to the courage of a concerned teacher, who requested a wellness check, this foster child was rescued," Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said. "We are investigating this incident along with the Essex County Prosecutor's Office to gather as much information as possible about how and why this child was put in this horrific situation. We are pleased that he's now safe, and we are grateful that his teacher suspected that he was in need of police assistance."

The boy was checked out at University Hospital before being released to the custody of the New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency.

"We are happy to see that the student is safe and sound," Newark Teachers Union President John Abeigon said. "We leave it to law enforcement to determine what exactly happened here and pray everyone gets the help they need. We train our teachers and support staff to check on wellness regularly. We're proud of the work they do each and every day."

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