A New York man has been arrested after police learned that he shot his two young stepdaughters, ages 4 and 6, several times with a BB gun as punishment.
Steven Scroger, 29, of Buffalo, New York, was arrested and charged with multiple crimes, including assaulting a person younger than 7 years old, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon with intent to use, and three counts of acting in a manner injurious to a child, WHAM reported.
Police were led to Scroger after medical staff at Mercy Ambulatory Care Center contacted them on Feb. 28 to investigate numerous suspicious-looking injuries on the two young girls.
After deputies from the Erie County Sheriff's Office went to the girls' home, they confirmed that Scroger had inflicted the injuries with a BB gun to discipline them.
The kids were reportedly told to say the injuries were bug bites.
Both Scroger and the children's mother gave full statements to police. Although the latter was not charged, the two girls and another 1-year-old child in the home were taken to live with relatives.
Scroger is currently being held in Erie County detention on $7,500 bail.
Police said they confiscated the BB gun used to shoot the girls, according to WIVB.
According to data reported by the American Humane Association, 79.4 percent of child abuse perpetrators in 2005 were parents or stepparents. In the same year, 21.7 percent of victimized children had to be removed from their homes following an abuse investigation.