See also: "Hide-and-Seek" Suffocation Death of 10-Year-Old Ame Deal Ruled Homicide
See also: Police: Abuse of Ame Deal "Makes You Sick to Your Stomach."
See also: Ame Deal's Killers Indicted for First-Degree Murder
See also: Pennsylvania Man Says He's the Father of Ame Deal
See also: Ammandea Stoltzmann Arrested For Horrific Abuse of Ame Deal
See also:Ame Deal's Father Arrested for Alleged Abuse of Girl
David Deal, the father of Ame Deal — the 10-year-old girl who died a year ago after her family members admittedly stuffed the girl in a footlocker for taking a Popsicle — became the sixth member of the family to be accused by police of crimes against the little girl, and was arrested over the weekend.
The Phoenix Police Department has now released a few details as to why Deal was arrested for abuses against Ame.
"Detectives are alleging, through witnesses, that David Deal, Ame's father, was the first to use confinement as punishment for Ame," Sergeant Trent Crump says. "The confinement was said to have began with a dog kennel."
Police say Deal locked Ame in a trunk as punishment from December 2010 until July 2011, when she died from suffocation after being locked in the trunk by other family members.
Police note one time witnesses say Deal locked Ame in the box, then tossed it in the backyard swimming pool.
The reason for Deal doing this, police say, was because Ame "kept crying and yelling she could not breathe during the confinement."
Crump says deal took the trunk containing Ame out of the pool before it could sink.
Deal denied to police that he'd abused his daughter, but Crump says Deal described his own daughter as a "Pillsbury Doughboy looking thing and said her mental problems frustrated others."
According to court documents previously obtained by New Times, the abuse of Ame among the family members included frequently being locked in the footlocker, being forced to eat dog feces, getting beaten with a wooden paddle, being forced to sleep in a shower stall with no pillow or blankets, and having hot sauce shoved in her mouth, among other things.
Ame's cousins, John and Sammantha Allen, have been charged with first-degree murder because they admittedly locked Deal in the footlocker the night she died because she took a Popsicle without asking.
Her grandmother, Judith Deal, her aunt, Cynthia Stolzmann, were arrested after Ame's death on child-abuse charges.
Ammandea Stoltzmann, another relative, was arrested in February for previous alleged abuses of the girl.
David Deal is now the sixth person to be arrested for crimes against the girl, and Phoenix police picked him up this weekend at his girlfriend's apartment.
Deal was indicted by a grand jury yesterday on a felony child-abuse charge, and was arrested again last night.
He was expected to be booked into a county jail last night, and his bond has been set at $250,000.
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.