The San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office is urging community members to attend a court hearing next week in Sacramento that will determine if a man convicted in 2011 of torturing and beating a teenage boy in Tracy will be granted parole.
Anthony Vincent Waiters, a former football coach and youth mentor in Tracy who was arrested at his workplace in Pleasanton in 2008, was found guilty of torturing and beating a 16-year-old boy who was shackled to a fireplace for over a year, according to prosecutors.
Waiters was granted parole by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in March, but Gov. Gavin Newsom requested that the inmate remain in custody until an En Banc hearing occurs with the executive board of the CDCR. An En Banc hearing is when a case is heard before all the judges of a particular court instead of one single judge.
If granted parole, Waiters could be tentatively released from prison next Friday (Aug. 19). It was not immediately clear why Waiters became eligible for parole at this point in his prison sentence following his conviction at trial.
The hearing will take place at 1515 K St., Suite 550, in Sacramento at 9 a.m. Tuesday (Aug. 16) or can be watched online at https://tinyurl.com/BPHAugustBoard.
"Releasing Anthony Waiters on a grant of parole will be an act of injustice to the victim, our community, and it would also pose a public safety risk," District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said in a news release. "Anthony Waiters was an active participant in the torture of a defenseless teenage boy. This is not a case to grant parole."
A teenage boy named Kyle, who had been placed in the custody of Sacramento County Child Protective Services because of abuse from his foster mother Caren Ramirez, was abducted by Ramirez's daughter in 2007.
Waiters lived next door to the Schumacher family in Tracy and would drink with Michael Schumacher, who he was friends with.
The child was taken to live at the Schumacher family residence by Ramirez in late August 2007.
According to the District Attorney's Office, Kyle was not enrolled in school and was not allowed to leave the house. By the end of 2007, the boy was chained to a fireplace at the Schumacher's home and forced to sleep on the brick hearth.
Together the Schumacher's, Ramirez and Waiters tortured the 16-year-old boy with knives, a heated metal baseball bat, corrosive substances, doused him in lighter fluid and lit his pants on fire, and frequently beat him, according to prosecutors.
"He was not allowed to shower, and would be taken outside where he would either be hosed down or doused with hot water," prosecutors said in the news release. "He was initially zip-tied to restrain his movement in order to prevent him from stealing food."
At a jury trial, Kyle testified that Waiters had sliced his right forearm with a steak knife about four to five times while Ramirez held his arm down.
Waiters and Ramirez then poured bleach, salt and butter in Kyle's wound and wrapped it in tissue and tape.
On another occasion, Waiters wore boxing gloves and pummeled the victim's body as he was chained to the fireplace.
During the assault, the victim lost consciousness, fell onto the still-burning fireplace grate and was left there for an extended amount of time causing him to suffer third-degree burns, according to the District Attorney's Office.
"If released, inmate Waiters would return to our Tracy community," Tracy Police Chief Sekou Millington said. "I have already been contacted by witnesses in this case, who remain fearful of the death threats made to them by Anthony Waiters, who would return to the home in which he lived while torturing Kyle."
In 2008 after a first failed attempt of escaping, the victim unchained himself, ran to the backyard of the home, jumped off a trampoline to get over a wall and ran into an In-Shape City gym to beg for help.
Waiters was the fourth person arrested in the case following Kyle's escape and the case began making national headlines, with police taking the then-29-year-old into custody in December 2008 at work in Pleasanton where he was employed by the Bay East Association of Realtors in technical support.
Anyone wanting to make a public comment at the hearing will be allowed two minutes per person.
Editor's note: Weekly editor Jeremy Walsh contributed local information about Waiters' Pleasanton arrest to this story.