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Hurricane couple charged with child abuse, neglect

By Staff reports

HURRICANE, W.Va. -- A mother and her boyfriend were arrested Thursday after doctors told police the woman's 3-year-old son was nearly suffocated and received powerful blows to the back.

The boy's father took him to the hospital after picking him up from a weekend visit with his mother, Emily Diane Arthur, 33, and her boyfriend, Joseph Allen Thacker, 35, both of Hurricane.

The 3-year-old had scratches and bruises on his face, ribs, back, shoulder and buttocks, according to a criminal complaint filed in Putnam County Magistrate Court.

Thacker told police he was trying to wipe the boy's nose and that the boy accidentally scratched his own face while trying to pull Thacker's hand away, according to the complaint.

The boy's mother told police her son's scratches were from a brier patch. She also said, according to the complaint, that while her son was taking a nap, he rolled out of bed and hit an end table, which caused the bruises on his ribs and back.

Doctors at CAMC Women and Children's Hospital interviewed the boy where, according to the complaint, the 3-year-old said, "Joe Joe covers my mouth and he throws me." The complaint also states that the child said Thacker "was mean to him."

Doctors examined the child and found the injuries were physical abuse and not consistent with him having fallen out of bed, according to the complaint.

Another doctor told police the scratches on the boy's face "are very likely the result of the child attempting to escape assaultive occlusion of his nose and mouth, with associated air hunger and panic," according to the complaint.

The doctor also told police that the bruising on the child's back "probably represents a powerful blow or blows."

Arthur was charged with child neglect resulting in injury. She was released from jail after posting a $10,000 property bond. Thacker was charged with child abuse resulting in injury and is being held Friday in the Western Regional Jail on $50,000 bail.


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