RIVERVIEW (FOX 13) - A Riverview mother's brave decision to speak up is likely the reason she was safe Saturday after deputies rescued her from what they described as a horribly abusive situation.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the woman was being held in her home against her will by her husband, Devbir Kalsi, 33, who had his parents fly in from India to "counsel and discipline" his wife for "being disobedient."
Investigators believe Kalsi and his parents, Jasbir and Bhupinder Kalsi, abused his wife for a long time. She recently told her parents, who are also in India, what was going on and her parents notified the sheriff's office.
When deputies arrived at the home on Greenbank Drive Saturday morning and knocked on the door, no one initially came to the door. A deputy continued to knock and, eventually, the wife attempted to open the door and screamed for the deputy to save her and her 1-year-old baby.
The deputy said he had to force his way in as Devbir Kalsi tried to force the door shut. Kalsi and his parents were all arrested.
Investigators told FOX 13 the man's wife was badly beaten and had bruises over her entire body. The child appeared to be unharmed.
"Awful, nobody should go through that," said one neighbor who knows the wife well and didn't want to be identified. "It really is heartbreaking. There's a brand new baby. But who beats their wife up and his mother and dad help him? Who does that?"
Deputies said the wife also had a knife held to her throat and had her cell phone taken away so she couldn't call 911.
Another neighbor said she was emotional after hearing the details of the ordeal.
"I'm both sad and scared at the same time," said Stephanie Payne, who lives across the street. "I'm upset that this was all going on right across the street from me and I never knew and couldn't do anything about it and couldn't help her because that really breaks my heart to know that a woman and her one-year-old were being treated so poorly and were so scared."
Payne said there might not have been anything she could have done, but she still feels guilty.
"Gosh, I almost wish I could say sorry to her for not knowing what was going on and not being there to help her," she said.
Devbir Kalsi and his parents are all facing a slew of charges and, according to the sheriff's office, could be deported back to India.