Dad speaks out after Pa. teen yanks own teeth

Pictured: Francisco Torres

April 21, 2011 7:24:16 AM PDT
Police say an Easton, Pa. teen yanked out his own teeth after his father refused to take him to a dentist. Now the father, who's facing child endangerment charges, is speaking out.

"He's not a bad kid, man. But he just likes to lie and he likes to run," 41-year-old Francisco Torres told WFMZ-TV on Wednesday.

RELATED: Watch the interview with Francisco Torres

Police say the boy moved into the Centre Street home last summer to live with Torres, his father.

A short time later, they say, the boy started complaining about his teeth.

"Yeah, he did told me that one of his tooth bother him. One of his tooth, not two. So, I said ok we're going to take you to the dentist," said Torres.

Torres says he wasn't sure his insurance would work, but police had a different take.

"When I interviewed him he was able to produce a valid insurance card. He said his problem was with transportation. He wasn't able to get to the dentist's office," said Easton police detective Christopher Miller.

Then, in January, police say the boy yanked out two of his teeth with a pair of pliers.

"Then, things happen. He took out this tooth and they blamin' me. I didn't know nothing about," said Torres.

Police say the boy told them Torres still refused to take him to the dentist.

Finally, they say the boy spoke to someone who alerted Northampton County Children and Youth.

Authorities say the boy has since had emergency dental surgery to remove tiny fragments of his teeth and repair his gums.

"The actual dentist report indicated he could've had a widespread infection or possibly death, worst case scenario," said Det. Miller.

The boy is now in the custody of Northampton County Children and Youth. Torres faces endangerment charges.


Information from WFMZ-TV