teen escapes brutality

Thomas D. Wininger, of Georgia, and Desirae Tomcanin, of Pennsylvania, were arrested in Sulphur this week after being charged with cruelty to a juvenile and false imprisonment.

A transient couple residing in Sulphur has been arrested by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office after allegedly brutally abusing a 15-year-old boy.

At approximately 10 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a home in Sulphur where the teen, who had been brutally abused, had managed to escape.

CPSO detectives learned the boy’s father, Thomas D. Wininger, 40, originally from Sylvester, Ga., would allegedly punish the boy by handcuffing, hog tying and placing shock collars which caused burn marks on his ankles, sometimes for up to 12 hours a day.  The boy had facial injuries and belt marks across his back supposedly inflicted by Wininger.

Wininger and his girlfriend, Desirae Tomcanin, 34, originally from Pennsylvania, and the boy, traveled from state to state for Wininger to find work. The boy was not in school and has not been for some time.

Both Wininger and Tomcanin were arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center and charged with second degree cruelty to a juvenile; and false imprisonment.

The boy was able to escape through a wooded area to a house after being uncuffed to allow a bathroom break. The resident of the house notified law enforcement.

Bond has not yet been set and the boy has been placed in state’s custody.

CPSO Detective Keeba Barber is the lead investigator on this case.