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Ohio dad hogtied 13-year-old daughter ‘because she was trying to run away,’ cops say

A New London, Ohio, man was arrested on unlawful restraint charges after police found his 13-year-old daughter hogtied with zip ties at the family-owned bowling alley, and he told police he tied her up for trying to run away.
A New London, Ohio, man was arrested on unlawful restraint charges after police found his 13-year-old daughter hogtied with zip ties at the family-owned bowling alley, and he told police he tied her up for trying to run away. New London Police

An Ohio man was arrested Friday after he hogtied his daughter with zip ties to keep her from running away, police said.

Two neighbors in New London, Ohio, made non-emergency calls to police around 5:20 p.m. on May 4 after hearing a girl screaming for help near a bowling alley, Lt. Joe Hicks said. Then a 911 call came in reporting a man pulling his daughter by the hair across the New London Lanes parking lot, according to police.

When police arrived, John L. Hofacker, 39, was breathing heavily, Hicks said — and he admitted to binding his daughter’s wrists and ankles: “I just tied my daughter up because she was trying to run away,” Hofacker said, according to police. Hofacker told Hicks he was about to call the police himself.

Police then saw the daughter, whose wrists and ankles were bound and then tied together so she couldn’t move, police said.

“She wouldn’t have been able to stand up,” Hicks said, adding that the zip ties were on so tightly they were cutting off the child’s circulation.

The incident began when Hofacker told the 13-year-old to leave his home and go to the nearby bowling alley, which the family owns, police said. But the girl didn’t listen, which sparked the incident. A babysitter was watching two younger children at the home at the time, according to police.

Police had to use wire cutters to break her free because using a pocket knife on the tight ties would have risked cutting the girl, police said. She was taken to the hospital, where more injuries were found: She had severe welts and abrasions on her thighs and arms, where she told social workers her father had struck her with a belt before restraining her with the zip ties, according to police.

“I can’t think of any reason you would have to discipline a child like that,” New London Police Chief Mike Marko told the Norwalk Reflector. “That’s not discipline; that’s torture.”

The girl is now in foster care, FOX 8 reports.

Hofacker was taken to the Huron County jail, but was bonded out of jail by his father, according to police. Hofacker was previously convicted of assault in 2004, police said.

Police said the girl had only been in her father’s custody since last week Monday. Before that, she had lived with grandparents — but she had been in trouble herself, in and out of the juvenile court system, before she was released to her father last week, police said.

“There are additional charges pending,” Marko told the Reflector. “There are definitely additional charges.”

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