New Castle News

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April 26, 2012

Man accused of beating 4-year-old with curtain rod

NEW CASTLE — An Ellwood City man is in the Beaver County jail, accused of beating a 4-year-old girl with a curtain rod.

Ellwood City police charged Rodderrick R. Richards, 23, of 817 South St. in the case.

The charges were filed after family members contact police about the condition of the girl, and officers investigated.

The case is being handled in Beaver County because the crimes Richards is accused of allegedly occurred at his home, which is in the Beaver County portion of Ellwood City.

According to police, they were contacted April 19 by a family member who said they were concerned that Richards had beaten the girl. Family members then accompanied police to the South Street residence, where a woman allowed officers in.

There, police said, they found the girl, who had bruises and lacerations on her back and buttocks. According to officers, the girl said Richards had caused the injuries.

Meanwhile, police were told there was crack cocaine in the home. They said the woman who lived there gave them written permission to conduct a search. A police dog was used and officers said a partial marijuana cigarette and two plastic bags containing white power that appeared to be crack cocaine residue were found in the bathroom.

At that point, Richards was taken into custody. When he was searched, police said, they found a metal container with two pills, later identified as oxycodone.

While taking Richard to the police station, officers said, he acknowledged disciplining the girl because she had urinated on herself. Police said he told them he had not intended to hit her so hard.

When officers asked Richards what he had used to beat the girl, they said, he asked for an attorney. However, documents filed with the courts note police believe Richards used a curtain to repeatedly strike the child.

Richards was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of delivery of a controlled substance.

He was arraigned by District Judge Joseph Schafer and jailed in lieu of a $15,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

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