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Odenton school chief charged in paddle beating of 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 warrants for arrest and for search and seizure.

Mr. Pike, who was charged with physical child abuse and assault and battery, was released after posting $500 bail yesterday afternoon, police said.

Police recovered a 14-inch paddle that they say was used in the alleged June 3 beating, said Sgt. Robert A. Johnson, a county police spokesman.

Police did not have a home address for Mr. Pike; the school's address was used in the charging document, Sergeant Johnson said.

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

The boy, who was enrolled at the school, had a large, round contusion on his buttocks, police said.

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

BCorporal punishment is a part of the school's disciplinary policy, Sergeant Johnson said.

School officials did not return phone calls yesterday afternoon.

Investigating officers refused to comment on a possible motive in the alleged incident, Sergeant Johnson said.

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