Robert McDowell, Kansas Man, Accused of Torturing Autistic 15-Year-Old

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By Elizabeth Chuck

A Kansas man has been arrested for allegedly tying up a 15-year-old boy and shocking him with a car battery charger, police say.

The suspect, 58-year-old Robert McDowell, is accused of approaching the teen — who is autistic — and pointing a gun at him late Saturday, Wichita police spokesman Lt. James Espinoza told NBC News.

Robert McDowellSedgwick County Jail

McDowell then allegedly took the boy to the garage of a nearby home, where authorities say he bound his neck and wrists using the boy's shoelaces and attached the battery charger to his ears.

Officers "noticed marks to both ears. These marks were bleeding and also black in color," Espinoza said.

The victim was not identified. His sister, speaking on condition of anonymity, told NBC affiliate KSN in Kansas that her brother was taken to a hospital to be checked out. His ears are bruised, but he is recovering, she said.

"That's just wrong," she told KSN. "You can't do anything. You feel discriminated."

McDowell and the victim did not know each other, Espinoza said, but had seen each other around the neighborhood.

In August, McDowell reported to police that his wallet had been stolen. Authorities believe his motive was to try to get information from the teen about who may have been behind the robbery.

"The victim, after giving several names to the suspect, the suspect didn't let him go. The suspect mentioned that he was a former vet and he knew how to make people talk," Espinoza said.

McDowell was booked on multiple felony charges, including aggravated battery with a firearm, abduction and kidnapping.

Earlier, authorities had said the attack involved jumper cables. Espinoza clarified Tuesday afternoon that it was a car battery charger.