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School director charged with beating 3-year-old


The director of the Odenton Christian School was arrested yesterday on charges of beating a 3-year-old boy with a paddle, Anne Arundel County police said.

Thurston Eugene Pike, 61, was taken into custody at the school in the 4800 block of Piney Orchard Parkway after police went there with a warrant for his arrest and a search and seizure warrant.

Mr. Pike, who was charged with physical child abuse and assault and battery, was released on $500 bail yesterday afternoon, police said. Police also recovered a 14-inch paddle allegedly used in the June 3 incident, said Sgt. Robert A. Johnson, a county police spokesman.

Police did not have an exact address for Mr. Pike, though the school's address was used in the charging document, Sergeant Johnson said.

He also said he did not know when the boy's parents reported the alleged abuse.

The alleged paddling left the boy, who was enrolled at the school, with a large round contusion on his buttocks, police said.

Sergeant Johnson said he did not know if the child needed medical treatment.

Corporal punishment is a part of the school's disciplinary policy, said Sergeant Johnson. School officials did not return phone calls about the incident yesterday afternoon.

A woman who answered the phone at the school would not answer questions about either the incident or the school.

Officers investigating the case refused to say why the alleged incident occurred, Sergeant Johnson said.

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