DECATUR – A Decatur man was arrested and jailed after allegedly handing out repeated beatings to a 4-year-old boy.

The 47-year-old suspect was taken into custody by police Monday evening following an investigation involving Decatur detectives and investigators from the Department of Children and Family Services. The boy is now in the protective custody of DCFS.

Sworn statements said the alleged abuse of the child, who suffers from speech delays, first came to light when teachers at his school “noticed extensive bruising” while changing his pull-up diaper.

Asked what had happened, the child is said to have replied: “Daddy hit.” Later examined by a doctor, the boy was found to have widespread bruising to his shins, back, arms and face. A doctor described the injuries as “consistent with abuse,” according to the statements.

The boy's mother, age 36, told police the suspect was “verbally and physically abusive” to the boy. “She stated that he makes frequent statements like 'I don't care if I lose you to DCFS” and “I don't want you anymore.”

The mother also said she had seen the suspect grab the boy by his upper arm and “yank” him around when he is in trouble. She has also seen him strike the child with a “house shoe” after the boy had hurt his sister accidentally.

The suspect, who has previously served a prison sentence for domestic battery, is now facing charges of aggravated battery of a child and committing domestic battery while having a prior domestic battery conviction.

He was in jail Tuesday night in lieu of posting $18,000 bail. If he makes bail, has been ordered to stay away from the child and the family home. The suspect is due to be arraigned Feb. 17.

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Staff Writer

Courts and public safety reporter for the Herald & Review.