July 08, 2015

Police: Parents forced daughter to live in woods as punishment after eating Pop Tart

Nation Police
07082015_PopTart_AP Wilfredo Lee/AP

Kellogg's brand strawberry-flavored Pop Tarts.

All parents have different ideas of how to discipline their children. One South Carolina couple allegedly took their punishment of choice to an extreme, and now they are facing charges.

The Sumter County parents were arrested this week after they allegedly forced their 14-year-old daughter to live in a tent in the woods because she ate a Pop Tart without permission, NBCNews reports.

James Driggers, 33, and his wife Crystal Driggers, 36, allegedly ordered their daughter to stay away from the home for a week. Police said they told her to set up a tent in a wooded area known to have wild hogs. She was given only a roll of toilet paper, a flashlight, a whistle and a watch, according to police.

The teen girl was allegedly told by her parents to meet "someone" at a fence on the family's property at specific times during the day if she wanted to receive any food: Her brother delivered her an open can of Spaghetti-Os with a plastic spoon one afternoon, authorities said. 

The teen was also left outside during severe thunderstorms that hit the area Thursday night, according to authorities. They said the girl's grandmother learned what was happening and called police before taking her to her own home around the corner.

However, after the girl was returned home Thursday night and police talked with her parents, she was sent back outside to the tent, more than a quarter-mile from the home, police said.

Investigators also learned that during the previous month, the child had been sent from the home every day at 8 a.m. and prohibited to return until 6 p.m. 

"She couldn't return for any reason," police spokesman Braden Bunch told NBCNews. "Not to get a drink, not to use the bathroom, nothing."

The family has five other children.

Both parents have been charged with a single count of unlawful neglect of a child. More charges are possible.