PUNXSUTAWNEY — A Punxsy man is charged with allegedly hitting a severely autistic child in the face.

Steven Paul Latta, 30, Punxsutawney, is charged by Punxsutawney Borough Police with misdemeanor counts of assault and endangering the welfare of children.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, in the morning on Jan. 8 a woman came to the police station to say that Latta was watching her severely autistic son while she was at work the day before.

The woman told police she was getting him out of bed that morning to get him ready for school when she saw marks on both sides of his face near his cheek bones. She said when asked, Latta said that he smacked the boy in the mouth, leaving bruises that were turning black and blue.

When the woman asked the boy who did it, he said that Latta did.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 28 at the office of District Judge Jacqueline Mizerock in Punxsy.

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