A family in Centralia, Wash. claims their neighbor forced them to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and do chores in a video shared on Facebook live.
Photo: KIRO7.com
Photo: KIRO7.com

Neighbor forces family to recite Pledge of Allegiance, do chores, policy say

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Miles Waggener, 29, is accused of forcing the family to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and do chores, and broadcast the activities live on Facebook, according to KIRO.

The mother and father told KIRO it was all part of some twisted lesson on being an American.

The father and mother, whom we’ll refer to as GS and SS, asked to remain anonymous.

They said family members were held against their will, and realized that the Facebook video, now pulled offline, backs up much of what they say happened to them.

Authorities said that around 7 a.m. on May 30, Waggener grabbed the 12-year-old boy when he walked out to the family car on his way to school.

He allegedly dragged the boy by his coat, lifted him off the ground, hit him and told him to pick up trash around the yard.

SS told investigators she told Waggener to let the boy go to school.

“He said, 'Right here is the school. I'm the teacher. Now everybody have to say the Pledge of Allegiance,’” SS said.

Authorities said Waggener refused to let the family leave.

He is close to 6 feet 9 inches tall and weighs over 200 pounds, so the family reported they were afraid of him. 

At one point in the video, he asks if the children can yell. The mother tells him to leave her daughter alone, and he replies angrily that the girl should yell, using an expletive to describe her.

When he stepped away, SS said, she told her children to escape.

“’Run everybody!' They say, ‘Really mom?’ and I say, ‘Yeah, run, everybody! Run!’”

They managed to get away and call the authorities.

A neighbor said that loud music may have been playing in the hours before the incident.

Tara Smyth said loud music coming from the general area of the house where the family was held has always been a concern.

Smyth did not see the video when it was broadcast on Facebook Live but heard about it from others.

“He was trying to make them an American, just scary,” she said. “It's two doors down from here.” 

The family believes it was targeted because of its background.

GS and SS said that now, after being traumatized by a nightmare neighbor, they won't let their children go outside.

GS said the family is shaken and wants to move.

“Everything you do here - you try to protect your family and basically you're comfortable and then pretty soon somebody just, out of the blue, comes behind your wife's car and drags your son away,” GS said.

GS said his whole family is living in fear even with Waggener behind bars. “That's where he needs to be,” GS said.

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