Man allegedly forced son, 4, to fight brother

Posted Jan. 21, 2010, at 8:24 p.m.

ROCKPORT, Maine — Cash bail was set at $5,000 for a man who allegedly hit his 4-year-old-son with a shoe when the child refused to continue fighting his big brother, according to police reports.

Pedro Delgado, 26, of Rockport was arrested Jan. 14 on charges of assault, endangering the welfare of a child under the age of 14 and violations of conditions of release.

When the mother of the two boys, ages 4 and 6, picked the children up on Jan. 10 she noticed bruising on the younger one’s face. Delgado has some weekend parental visitation rights, according to court documents.

The mother retrieved the boys at a neutral site, the police station, because Delgado is not allowed near the woman after he pleaded guilty in June 2008 to assault, terrorizing and violation of a protection order, according to Delgado’s parole officer, Matt Magnusson.

When the mother saw the injuries on the boy, she called the Department of Health and Human Services, which, in turn, called the police. Detective Justin Twitchell of the Knox County Sheriff’s Department responded to the 2:35 p.m. Jan. 14 call.

Twitchell said that when he spoke to the man, Delgado said his 4-year-old had fallen down some icy stairs Jan. 9 when he was playing outside. Twitchell observed neither ice on the stairs nor children’s footprints in snow outside.

Delgado denied accusations of any abuse, neglect or discipline, according to reports.

“Pedro stated [the boys] do not fight or hit each other and then later stated that they do,” police reports said.

Twitchell interviewed the two children and a pediatrician who examined the 4-year-old and identified bruising on the boy’s face, hip and thigh.

“Both [boys] indicated that their father makes them both fight each other while he watched,” Twitchell’s report said. That report was filed at Knox County Superior Court. The children described the fighting like “UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship] and that they had to hit each other with closed fists, kicks and knees to the body.”

According to police reports, Delgado forced his two boys to fight at his Rockport home at 1054 Commercial St. on Jan. 9 while he lay on his bed and watched. When the boys refused to continue fighting, Delgado allegedly hit the 4-year-old in the face with a sandal approximately six times.

Police found a pair of blue sandals in the room where the boys said they had fought.

“[The boys] stated that if they did not fight, refused to fight or stopped fighting too early, they would be hit by their father,” Twitchell’s report said. “[The younger child] said that he was being forced to fight his older brother and did not want to. His brother had hit him and hurt him, which made him cry.”

Twitchell wrote that the children’s stories were consistent with each other and with the pediatrician’s report.

Bail was set Tuesday. As of Thursday night, Delgado remained at Knox County Jail in Rockland. Assault, a Class C felony, is punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.

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