After a hearing on March 8, a court ordered a Maryland father to be held without bail after being charged with beating his 4-year-old son for mispronouncing a word.
On Feb. 28, 33-year-old Devon John Eason's son was hospitalized after his mother returned from work and noticed their 4-year-old son's injuries, reports Herald-Mail Media.
Eason, who was at the time reportedly an unemployed stay-at-home dad who had lost his job a year earlier when he lost his transportation, was kicked out of the house before the child's mother rushed her son to Frederick Memorial Hospital.
So severe was the assault, reports indicate the child suffered multiple bodily bruises, ranging in area from his face to buttocks. Additionally, signs indicate the perpetrator pulled hair out of the boy's scalp.
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The boy's 6-year-old brother was a witness to the beating. The 4-year-old victim later confirmed to Child Protective Services that his injuries stemmed from an assault.
In an interview with CPS, the child revealed his father beat him "too many times" for being unable to properly articulate the word "four."
Court documents reveal Eason was subsequently charged with second-degree child abuse and second-degree assault.
The charges came while Eason was on probation for driving under the influence -- which is how he had lost his transportation.
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Assistant State's Attorney Sarah Mollett-Gaumer urged the judge to set his bond at no lower than a quarter-million dollars. She also demanded he be prohibited from having any contact with children.
The beating shocked many worldwide.
"P O S doesn't realize the mental damage he has done to his own child," commented one person on the Daily Mail's article about the assault. "This traumatic experience can require years of psychological counseling with the possibility of little if any positive results. He's clearly a candidate for an assisted curb munching."
"The one person who's supposed to be your protector and help you in life is the abuser," added another. "Why is it becoming so common for parents to hurt their children?"
Yet many also expressed hope for the boy's future, praising the mother for taking decisive action.
"YES!" wrote one reader. "Great job mom. You saved your son's life! A working mother, who turn a deadbeat in. This kid will be okay."
"The boy will be OK if mom sticks to her guns and protects him from his tormentor," chimed in another. "She wasn't there when it happened and wasn't able to prevent it, but she can protect her son now and that will help renew trust again. Good job, mom."