DANVERS — When officers arrived, the child was lying alone on a small mattress in the corner of the room. He had a scratch on his left cheek. He got it, the boy would later tell police, while ripping tape from his face after his caretaker put hot sauce into his mouth and sealed it shut.
Police also noticed marks and bruises in many places on his small body: a bruise on his right calf, a black-and-blue mark under his eye, reddening and abrasions on his wrists, which he said had been tied up.
The 4-year-old said matter-of-factly that he had been left there because he had been bad, according to a police report filed in court.
He told them how he got the bruise on his calf, also, calmly.
“Oh, Daddy hit me with a shoe,” the boy told Danvers patrolman Keith Chalmers.
Christopher Delcid, who is not the boy’s biological father, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to assault and battery on a child causing substantial injury and child abandonment.
The 21-year-old beat the child and put hot sauce in his mouth and taped it shut, before leaving him alone, prosecutors said Wednesday. He is being held on $250,000 bail, and is due back in court July 16.
His girlfriend — Katherine Rodriguez, 20 — was arraigned Thursday on charges of permitting assault and battery on a child and abandoning a child under 10, said Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokeswoman for Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett.
Attempts to reach relatives of Rodriguez were unsuccessful Thursday.
In an interview with ABC News 5, the boy’s grandmother, Leeann West, said she was skeptical of the claims. From what she saw, the 4-year-old was not mistreated, she said.
“Katie is a good mom,” West said of her daughter.
Of her grandson, she said, “He is rambunctious and handsome.”
Delcid works for the Chelsea Housing Authority, and Rodriguez is an employee of Walmart in Danvers, the report said.
Police were called to the Extended Stay America hotel in Danvers at about 1:47 p.m. Tuesday after hearing from Delcid’s sister that he was abusing his girlfriend’s son. When officers arrived at the hotel, they heard a television inside Room 234, but no one answered repeated knocks, police said. The manager of the hotel, much of which is used as housing for homeless people, let them into the room.
Inside, they found the boy, who told the officers that Delcid and his mother were out with friends, police said, and had the couple’s two children with them. Noticing the bruises and abrasions, officers called an ambulance.
Delcid and Roderiguez arrived at North Shore Children’s Hospital in Salem about 45 minutes after being told what had happened. Delcid was taken to a hospital room and arrested, police said.
Delcid told police he thought the boy’s father is in jail. He denied causing the bruises, but admitted he had whipped the child with a belt. He said the only other time the couple had left the boy alone was when they had gone food shopping, police said.
Chalmers said in the report that a black-and-blue mark under the boy’s eye would be “indicative of someone punching him in the face.”
Police asked the boy to show them his buttocks. The entire right side was black and blue, the report said.
The boy allegedly said Delcid hit him often with a black belt.
Officers found “all kinds of reddening” around the 4-year-old’s wrists and small abrasions that would be associated with taped wrists. The boy said Delcid had tied his hands together, the report said.
During an interview with police, the boy said that Delcid told his mother he wished the child had never been born.
“Daddy says I’m bad every day,” he told police during an interview.
A judge set bail at $100,000 and ordered Rodriguez to stay away from her son and all witnesses included in the police report. Rodriguez is due back in court on July 16.
All three children are in the custody of the Department of Children and Families, said a spokeswoman.