Man held for abusing four-year-old

By By JAN GRIFFEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- A Niles man has been arrested by Niles Township police after allagedly abusing a four-year-old boy.
Richard Ken Syson, 30, of 1809 Cass St., was arrested at Lakeland Hospital, allegedly after admitting to police he beat the boy with a belt and poked him with his finger repeatedly between the eyes, creating a bloody gouge about the size of a quarter.
Township police said Syson said he took those actions because the boy took too long to get ready for school and put his shoes on the wrong feet.
Township police said they expect Syson to be charged with domestic violence and child abuse.
Police said they received a call alerting them to possible abuse in the home.
The boy was transported to Lakeland Hospital, where a doctor's report suggests the mark on the boy's head would be consistent with either the belt, (One inch wide and 32 inches long) hitting the boy's head or the finger poking the head.
Syson allegedly first denied the abuse, blaming the wound on the child's forehead to him playing with his sister. However, upon further questioning, Syson allegedly admitted to the beating and to poking the child in the head wih his finger.
Police said Syson's fingernail is about a quarter-inch in length.
The press release said the boy repeatedly told police and a Child Protective Services representative that Syson beat him with a belt in the head and face for putting his shoes on the wrong feet. However, the release said the boy would not talk about how he received his wounds when he was in the presence of his mother.
A Child Protective Services representative placed the mother's children into protective custody, placing him with his grandparents pending outcome of Syson's arraignment.
Syson was taken to the Niles Township holding facility.
He was lodged with no bond.
He was fingerprinted and a mug shot was taken.

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