A couple near Emerson, Nebraska face charges of child abuse after reportedly sitting on two children’s chests or backs as a form of punishment and depriving them of food.
Blaine Busker, 41, and Donella Busker, 38, both of Emerson, were arrested on August 8, each facing two charges of child abuse.
An investigation into the abuse started after a deputy was sent to a home near Emerson, Nebraska on June 12 after Donella Busker said her son had run away. Law enforcement later received a call from a neighbor that found Busker’s son, saying that the son wanted to speak to deputies.
The son told the deputy that he ran away because he didn’t get along with his family. He reportedly said that after Donella got mad at him for not doing chores, she grabbed his arm and tried to sweep his legs out, but missed. Still holding onto his arm, she is then said to have bitten him.
The child also said that his father Blaine Busker and Donella Busker would allegedly knock him and his brother onto the ground hard enough to see stars and also sit on them as punishment.
An affidavit said that one child said that that one time he tried to get some food from a cupboard, Donella Busker reportedly got mad at him, calling Blaine Buskers. When Blaine Busker got home, he swept his feet from under him and proceeded to sit on his chest for 45 minutes before Donella Busker switched places and sat on him for about another 30 minutes. He was then sent to bed without food.
The affidavit says that when a deputy went to tell the buskers that they were taking the kids out of the home for the alleged abuse, Donella said, “I have called the State Several times and have asked the State to take the kids away.”
Continuing to investigate the abuse, authorities were told that the cupboards and refrigerator were locked so that they couldn’t get any snacks between meals. The affidavit also says that the kids could only wash their clothes once per week. Additionally, They were only allowed to shower every other day.
The state of Nebraska gave Donella $5,475 from February 2018 to June 2018 to take care of the children.
The affidavit states that Blaine and Donella Buskers are accused of intentionally causing the children in “a situation that endangered their mental health and were cruelly punished: by preventing the children from eating necessary food, depriving them of clean clothes and cruelly punishing them.
The two have since boded out of Dakota County Jail.