Crime

He choked a 9-year-old, then police found him hiding underneath a desk, charges say

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A man accused of choking his girlfriend’s 9-year-old son made profane statements to police and accused the boy of faking injury, according to charging papers.

The 34-year-old pleaded not guilty to second-degree child assault in Pierce County Superior Court on Monday, and his bail was set at $20,000.

According to court records:

Police went to the Salvation Army Shelter on Friday in the 1500 block of South Sixth Avenue, after a report that a man had grabbed a woman and choked a child.

Officers arrived to find the 9-year-old with scratches and abrasions on his neck.

His mother told police that her boyfriend of eight years had a lot of scotch that day and then was wrestling with her son.

The boy slapped him twice in the face, at which point the boyfriend started yelling and hit the child in the chest.

Then he grabbed the boy around the neck.

That’s when the mother intervened and pushed the boyfriend out the door.

The man was hiding under a desk when police found him. At first he denied his identity.

Later he said he’d just been roughhousing with the child, as usual, and he accused the child of being a “mama’s boy.”

He also told officers that the child doesn’t respect him because the boy spends weekends with his father.

As for the boy’s injuries, he said the child was just pretending that he wasn’t able to speak and that he didn’t know how the boy got the marks on his neck.

Officers smelled alcohol, and when they asked the man if he’d been drinking, he profanely said that was none of their business.

When he was booked into jail on suspicion of child assault, he reportedly said: “Assault of a child? That just really upsets me. Now I really want to assault that little (expletive). When push came to shove, we both held our ground.”

The mother took the boy to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.

Alexis Krell covers local, state and federal court cases that affect Pierce County. She started covering courts in 2016. Before that she wrote about crime and breaking news for almost four years as The News Tribune’s night reporter.
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