Mother’s Ursina boyfriend charged in alleged assault
A 3-year-old Somerset County child was hospitalized last month after being smothered by his mother’s boyfriend, state police allege.
Cody M. Schartiger, 25, of 341 Park St., Ursina, was arraigned this week before Confluence District Judge Sandra Stevanus on charges of endangering the welfare of children, aggravated assault and simple assault.
State police Trooper William Goins alleges the assault occurred at Schartiger’s residence between 8 a.m. and noon Oct. 3, when he and the victim’s mother were at the home with five children.
The boy began to cry and was placed in a disciplinary “time out” in another room, Goins said in an affidavit of probable cause.
While the woman cooked breakfast in the kitchen and the child kept crying, Schartiger said he needed to smoke a cigarette in the garage.
Schartinger returned after a few minute and said the child “was sleeping,” the woman told police.
When the mother went to check on the boy, she told police she noticed the light was turned off and the victim was in a small child’s chair with his head “in an awkward position hanging directly to his rear over the back of the chair.”
“As she called the victim’s name, he raised his head and gasped for air. (The mother) picked the victim up and noticed small blue dots all over the victim’s face,” Goins wrote.
Schartiger then entered the room and said it looked like the child suffered a seizure, the affidavit said. The mother took the child to Somerset Hospital, and he was transferred to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. He has since been released, according to police.
Child advocacy representatives at Children’s Hospital said bite marks on the child’s tongue and lips, combined with the marks on his face are “sometimes typical of a child who has been struggling to breathe and suggests an episode of asphyxiation,” Goins wrote.
Goins said the advocacy representative said the episode “is not consistent with seizures or breathing spells.” Goins noted that it was the second time in a week the child had unexplained injuries.
On Sept. 28, the child was observed with unexplained bruising on his body. “My concern is that if (the boy) remains in the environment without significant changes, he is at risk for other injuries,” the trooper concluded.
Since an initial interview Oct. 3, when Schartiger denied wrongdoing, he has refused other requests to be interviewed, Goins said.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.