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Monessen man accused of assaulting 6-year-old son

Paul Peirce
| Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 3:06 p.m.

A 34-year-old Monessen man who reportedly told police he struck his son as discipline Sunday was charged Monday with aggravated assault of a child and endangering the welfare of children.

City police also charged Mark Joseph Edwards Jr., 34, with harassment and simple assault in connection with the alleged assault that occurred Sunday afternoon. The incident was not disclosed to police until Monday by relatives of the victim.

Edwards was arraigned before senior District Judge Thomas Brletic of Allegheny County, and ordered held in the Westmoreland County Prison after failing to post $50,000 bond, according to court dockets.

Officer Jeffrey Smaracheck reported that a relative provided police with a photograph of the child Monday morning that showed he had suffered two black eyes and remnants of a bloody nose.

Smarachek reported in court documents that when he and other officers arrived at the residence on the 500 block of Church Street Monday “the child's injuries were obvious through visual observation.”

“Edwards Jr. confessed to striking the child as a form of corporal punishment on Sunday,” Smaracheck said.

Smaracheck reported that Edwards admitted he was in charge of the six-year-old, plus two younger siblings Sunday. Smarcheck reported that Edwards said he took a nap, and learned when he woke that the two younger children “had made a mess” in the home.

The 6-year-old victim attempted to conceal the mess, according to court documents. Edwards told officers that he became “enraged” and “slapped” the boy once as the child explained what occurred.

Smaracheck said the boy was taken to Mon Valley Hospital in nearby Carroll Township, Washington County, for an evaluation and he also contacted the Westmoreland County Children's Bureau to investigate.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2860, or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

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