Wisconsin boy says man strapped him to chair in basement


Shawano, Wis. – An 8-year-old boy told authorities that a man who lives with him and his mother strapped him to a chair in the basement of their northeastern Wisconsin home, but that he escaped and sought help from strangers.

The boy told police he finally escaped on Saturday, Oct. 5, when he “could no longer take” the noise from mice in the basement vent and the pee he was sitting on because he wasn’t allowed to go to the bathroom, according to the criminal complaint filed against 36-year-old Nathan Pogrant Monday. The boy sought help from strangers on a highway, according to authorities.

WLUK-TV reports he faces charges including false imprisonment and child abuse. The boy’s relationship to Pogrant is unclear. They live in Eland, Wisconsin.

This Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 booking photo from the Shawano County Sheriff's Office shows Nathan Pogrant in Shawano, Wis.

Pogrant is held on $25,000 cash bond. No attorney is listed.

The boy managed to get out of a hooded jacket he was tied in, he told police, and untied a cord used to restrain him to a chair. It was modified with wooden and metal bars and straps, according to detectives.

The boy’s mother hasn’t been charged. She said she gave her son two peanut and butter jelly sandwiches, removed the locks on his legs the Friday before he escaped and told him “to go when it was safe.” She told police she was afraid Pogrant might hurt her.

The boy told investigators he put on snow pants, a coat and large shoes that didn’t fit him when he left the house early Saturday. One of the detectives observed the boy “was rather skinny and his rib bones could be seen.”

The boy told police that he urinated on himself after Pogrant left him tied to the chair for at least two nights and a day. He says Pogrant threatened to break his fingers if he took food.

The criminal complaint alleges the boy had been put in restraints in the basement since early September. The boy’s mother told police Pogrant threw the chair away a couple of days after the child escaped.