A Taneytown man and woman were arrested Monday after a child was allegedly struck in the head, which resulted in severe swelling and bruising.
Jeremy Metzer, 30, of the 100 block of Carnival Drive, was charged with one count each of first-degree child abuse — severe physical injury, second-degree child abuse — custodian, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and confinement of an unattended child.
Megan Hebert, aka Megan Henderson, 29, of the same address, is charged as accessory after the fact on the same charges.
Both are being held without bond after Tuesday bail reviews, according to electronic court records.
According to the statement of charges, a 9-year-old boy was sent to the school nurse’s office on Nov. 14 for observed swelling and bruising to his head. He told educators he had been bullied by another student who kicked and punched him in the head. The school nurse was not able to reach an emergency contact for the child, and 911 was called and he was transported to Carroll Hospital after the injuries continued to swell.
The Taneytown Police Department, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and Child Protective Services all responded to the hospital. Hebert told a deputy of the sheriff’s office that the boy had received the injuries during a bullying incident at school the previous day. She did not report the incident to the school, according to the statement.
The deputy spoke with multiple witnesses who said the boy left school Nov. 13 with no visible injuries. The swelling of the injury seemed to indicate it was a recent injury rather than one obtained the day before, according to the statement.
The deputy interviewed Hebert, who “made several inconsistent statements that contradicted previous statements.” She said neither she nor Metzer were abusing the child, according to the statement.
The injuries continued to swell until the child’s eyes were swollen shut and there was bruising and pooled blood around his eye sockets, according to the statement.
Police interviewed Metzer, who stated that the child received the injuries from a bullying incident. He said he did not physically discipline the child, according to the statement.
A search warrant was obtained for the contents of Hebert’s phone, which revealed messages between her and Metzer on Nov. 13 and 14. Metzer said the child was not listening and requested her presence. In a later message on Nov. 14, Hebert cautions Metzer, just no more “hitting him in the head for a while,” according to the statement.
Other messages suggest the child was left alone on an occasion to care for a sibling who is less than 1 year old, according to the statement.
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A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 10.