After a Grove City school teacher saw bruises on a student's arm, child abuse charges were brought against his mother, according to state police.
Police have charged Marsha Lawanda Ware, 43, of 673 Barkeyville Road, Pine Township, with simple assault; endangering the welfare of children; intimidation, retaliation or obstruction in child abuse cases; obstructing administration of law or other governmental function; and harassment after incidents involving her young child on Nov. 13 and 14.
According to a police affidavit:
On Nov. 14, the child complained of pain to his teacher, who then noticed that his arm had multiple bruises. She reported the bruises to the principal of the school, who then contacted Mercer County Children and Youth Services per district protocol.
Caseworker Gail Bauer arrived at the school to speak to Ware and her child, who related that - upon giving an incorrect answer to a homework question to Ware - the mother became angry and struck her child with a belt "multiple times" the night before. Ware told Bauer that she had disciplined the child.
Bauer told police "that the marks were very swollen and the child indicated they were very painful when touched."
The caseworker told Ware that she would be transporting him to the hospital to be examined, and the mother "became agitated and grabbed the child," the document said. "Bauer related (to police) that Ware told her it was illegal for (Bauer) to transport the child .... (and) Ware took the child and got in her vehicle and fled the scene." The caseworker got in her vehicle to follow Ware, "attempting to get her to stop. Bauer related that Ware pulled over several times and argued with (Bauer)."
The mother finally told Bauer that she would follow the caseworker to the hospital, because "(Ware) didn't know where it was located," police said. Bauer pulled her vehicle ahead of Ware's and they proceeded to the hospital; however, Ware turned her vehicle around "and fled in the opposite direction and failed to appear at the hospital (with the child)."
The caseworker was unable to reach Ware by phone, but was able to contact Samuel Boyd, the father of the child, "who said he was in route to pick up the child ... at a residence in New Castle," the affidavit stated. The father relayed having joint custody of the child with Ware to state police. He would see the child on weekends; the mother would have their child during the week while he attended school.
The father said he tried to contact their child the evening of Nov. 13 on the phone.
Boyd alleged that Ware answered the phone and was "screaming and yelling at someone," police said. "(Boyd) related that she then began to scream at him ... telling him this was 'all his fault because he wasn't a good father.'"
Boyd alleged that he hung up the phone to allow Ware time to calm down before calling the number again; however, there was no answer the rest of the evening.
"Boyd indicated that he became worried and called off work for the following day. He indicated that things like this have happened in the past when Ware becomes angry with the child and will commonly tell him that he must come get the child immediately because she can't do it anymore."
Around noon on Nov. 14, Boyd said he received a call from Ware to pick up their child in New Castle, where they normally make the custody exchange at the home of Ware's sister. En route, he received a call from a friend of his and Ware's from New Castle who had the child in his care. Boyd also got a call from Bauer about the incident at the school, which the boy's father claims he knew nothing about.
He picked up his child from the mutual friend of his and Ware's in a church parking lot in New Wilmington, then the two went to the state police barracks in Jackson Township.
"Boyd indicated that he took the child to the restroom ... (and) observed multiple additional bruises on the legs of the child which were similar in nature to the bruises on his forearm."
The father and Bauer then took the child to a hospital for treatment. Ware was arrested by state police upon arrival from New Castle to her home in Pine, according to a police press release. She was arraigned and committed to the Mercer County Jail on a secured bond, it added.
Ware's preliminary hearing is set for 1 p.m. Dec. 10 at district court in Pine Township.
Published Nov. 26, 2014, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.