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East Hills man accused of beating daughter with belt for talking

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Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, 12:08 p.m.

A man accused of beating his daughter with a belt told officers he was disciplining her, Pittsburgh police said.

Police charged Thomas Wright, 50, of East Hills with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child on Saturday. Court records show he remains in the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of a $250,000 bail.

Dora Griffin, mother of Tyra Griffin, 7, told police she dropped the girl and her brother off at Wright's East Hills apartment before she went to work. Wright called her to tell her she might be upset when she saw Tyra. The girl's cheek was red and swollen and looked ready to bleed, police said.

Tyra Griffin told investigators she and her brother were talking when her father ordered them to shut up, and then began hitting her with a belt, police said.

Doctors at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh found a 6-inch welt on her thigh in the shape of a belt and similar to the injury on her face, police said.

Wright, who appeared to be intoxicated, told police he hit her to discipline her and he didn't see anything wrong with his actions.

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