News Article Details

Cherokee man charged with child abuse

Alva Review-Courier - 4/26/2017

A Cherokee man is accused of child abuse in a case involving a 12-year-old autistic boy. Curtis Charles Crumb, 22, has been charged in Alfalfa County with child abuse by injury, a felony. The charge alleges Crumb used unreasonable force on the boy by biting him on his right rear shoulder area causing a large half-moon shaped purplish colored bruise. This crime is punishable by imprisonment for not more than life, or by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000, or both such fine and imprisonment.

According to court records, on April 16 about 4:55 p.m.Cherokee Assistant Police Chief Ryan McNeil went to a restaurant to speak with the mother of the boy. The mother said the previous night her son was bitten by an adult, leaving a large bruise on his back. She identified Crumb, who is known to McNeil and resides with the mother and her family in Cherokee.

The mother showed a photograph of the injury to McNeil saying she learned about the bruise from another roommate and confronted Crumb. She said Crumb admitted to her that he bit the boy after the juvenile bit him on the arm. The mother said this occurred while the family was camping near the south spillway of the Great Salt Plains State Park (GSP) on the evening of April 15.

The mother also told McNeil that DHS was involved with the family because of another incident that allegedly occurred on April 12 with Crumb striking the juvenile in the head, causing a small cut and a bruise to his forehead.

Because the reported incident occurred in the jurisdiction of the Alfalfa County Sheriff's Department, McNeil contacted Deputy Gary Mast and explained the situation. McNeil offered to handle the situation since he was familiar with the people involved, and Mast agreed, saying to call if any help was needed.

A witness to the reported incident at GSP told McNeil when the boy would not get out of a vehicle, he saw Crumb begin to pull him out. The witness said the boy bit Crumb during the scuffle. The witness said the boy was inclined to bite when mad but he did not know that Crumb bit the boy until later.

McNeil observed the injury to the juvenile and took several photographs.

McNeil then spoke with Crumb who allegedly admitted to biting the boy on the back after the boy bit him on the right forearm. McNeil observed and photographed Crumb's injury. Crumb said he only bit the boy in an attempt to teach him not to bite people. He also said he had been told by the mother that it was okay to bite the boy if the boy bit him.

Crumb was placed under arrest and taken to the Alfalfa County Jail. His bond has been set at $10,000, and his next court appearance is scheduled for May 3.


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