Even as his parents tried to keep him silent, a 9-year-old boy told a Carver police sergeant that his father had punched his mother in her mouth on Christmas Day, the latest in a series of alleged acts of domestic violence the boy has witnessed in the past four years, according to police.
In a report filed in Wareham District Court on Wednesday, Carver police Sergeant Sheri A. Sarmento described the interview she had with the boy shortly before she arrested his father, Roger Santos Jr., on charges of domestic violence and cruelty to animals.
Santos, 47, was arraigned in Wareham District Court on Wednesday. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and bail was set at $1,000 cash, according to court records.
Sarmento wrote that she sat on the floor of the family home while the boy sat on a couch near his mother. She initially urged her son not to speak with the police. The boy’s father told him to stay by his side, and away from police.
But the child, on his own, spoke up.
“This has been going on for four years straight,’’ the boy told police, according to court records. “Where do I start?”
According to Sarmento, the boy said the incident began after Roger Santos’s adult child from an earlier relationship stormed out of the house after arguing with him, a departure the father blamed on his wife.
The boy said his father grabbed his mother by the hair on her head, pushed his hand in her face and then hit her in the face with the back of one of his hands, Sarmento wrote. At that point, according to Sarmento, the woman looked at the officer and said, “Everything he said is true.’’
She also told police that she has left her husband six times before, but has reunited each time because she believes it is her duty to keep the family together.
The son also said that his father picked up the family’s 4-month-old chihuahua puppy and threw the animal several times. Sarmento wrote that she found the puppy in the bedroom of the couple’s second child, a 3-year-old girl who was asleep when police arrived.
Sarmento arrested Santos for domestic assault and battery and cruelty to animals.
Before Santos was taken away by police, Sarmento wrote that the child made a request of her.
“He asked if he could give his father a hug before he left,’’ Sarmento wrote, adding that she told the child his actions were heroic. The child “gave his father a hug and was crying.’’
According to Sarmento, she arrested Santos in October 2010 after he allegedly strangled his wife. The woman denied that an attack had taken place but was seen by police wearing a turtleneck when they investigated that assault.
With the help of police, she has obtained a restraining order barring her husband from coming near the couple’s home, according to police.
John Ellement can be reached at email@example.com.