Galveston County Daily News
Copyright © 2002 Galveston County Daily News
Shackled-Girl’s Father Says Truants Vandalized Home
Police Arrest Girl, Boy
By Scott E. Williams
Published December 10, 2002
GALVESTON, Texas — A man accused of shackling his daughter because she
wouldn’t attend school said he caught two truant students inside his trailer home
trying to set it on fire.
In October, Ronnie Eugene Robbins was charged with shackling his 12-yearold’s ankles
together. He said he did it to make sure the girl attended school after a justice of the
peace warned him to do “whatever it takes” to make sure his often-truant daughter
attended school.
Robbins is awaiting trial on felony charges of endangering a child and injury to a child.
Robbins said his family was evicted from the trailer home and was in the process of
moving when they found a boy and girl inside. The two fled after setting a small fire,
Robbins said.
Police later arrested a 14-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy, who face charges of
criminal mischief, criminal trespass of a residence and truancy, The Galveston
County Daily News reported Tuesday.
Child Protective Services spokeswoman Estella Olguin said the agency was attempting
to get money for the family to help pay rent, but eviction proceedings had begun
before Robbins’ Oct. 31 arrest, after a woman saw his daughter with her legs chained
at a gas station.
Robbins has been living in a tent until his trial and plans to move in with a relative in
Santa Fe.
His daughter was in her mother’s care, and Robbins said he hopes to help find
accommodations for them.
Defense attorney Tad Nelson said Robbins wasn’t try ing to hurt his child.
“He went to great pains to avoid hurting her,” Nelson said. “What he did was no doubt
more extreme than what an average friend of mine might do, but in his case it was the
only thing to do.