| Crime |

Chandler Couple Kept Disabled Son Locked in a Bathroom Because They "Have a Life Too"

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Chandler couple Vu Tran and Siobhan Grogan told police they often kept their 8-year-old son -- who has mental and physical disabilities -- locked in a bathroom. According to Tran, it's because they "have a life too."

Tran and Groghan only ended up talking to police on Tuesday because while they were out trying to "have a life," the maintenance manager from their apartment complex was investigating a leak, and found the boy locked in the bathroom, naked and standing in two inches of water, while the toilet was overflowing.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, someone called the maintenance manager at the complex -- near Alma School Road and Knox Road -- because water was leaking into their apartment from the apartment above Tuesday evening.

After knocking, no one answered the door, so he went inside. Once inside, the man heard running water and what he thought was a small child inside a locked bathroom.

Once he removed the door knob, the maintenance manager found the 8-year-old boy naked, standing in two inches of water, while the toilet -- which had the boy's clothes in it -- was overflowing.

Almost three hours later, Tran and Grogan showed up to the Chandler police station looking for their boy.

Tran said his son had a birth defect, and has the mental capacity of an 18-month-old child. He said his son cannot speak, and can't see well, either.

Tran went on to explain that he and his wife "have a life too," so he needed to leave his son locked in the bathroom to do that, according to the documents.

He said that they first "tested" the boy by "pretending" to leave him along to see how he would react, before they started doing it "for real," the documents state.

Tran said he usually leaves the boy in there for one to three hours at a time, and said he didn't think his son could die or be seriously injured by himself and locked in the bathroom, according to the documents.

Tran, Grogan, and their daughter each told police the excuses for locking the boy in the bathroom by himself for hours on end.

"Vu stated they 'have a life too' and needed to leave [the boy] alone so they could do things as a family," according to a probable-cause statement.

Later in that statement, "...Siobhan advised they left [the boy] at home alone because they 'like to feel like a normal family once in a while."

Their daughter, who was taken by Child Protective Services, told police that her parents locked up her brother because he "pooped too much," court documents state.

Both Tran and Grogan claimed they only left the boy home alone for about an hour on Tuesday, which police contend is not the case, since they were at their place for at least three hours waiting for them.

Tran and Grogan each face child-abuse charges. Tran's bond was set at $8,000, and Grogan's was set at $2,300.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.