A local man was arrested on charges of threatening and abusing a young girl, including trying to entice the child into drinking cleaning fluid, police said.
Charles Lewis, 44, was charged with risk of injury to a minor, second-degree strangulation and second-degree threatening.
The state Department of Children and Families alerted police on Dec. 13 to a report of abuse at the home Lewis shares with the victim’s mother and 17-month-old sibling. The victim’s age was not included in an arrest warrant, but she was being potty-trained at the time, police said.
“The victim’s mother said she didn’t know why,” the warrant says, “but the victim has always been the target of Charles’s aggression.”
In one incident, Lewis poured two cups of cleaning fluid and told the girl that she should drink one and he would drink the other, the warrant says. The child’s mother intervened before any harm was done, police said.
Another time, the girl spread feces on walls in the home, the warrant says. As her mother and aunt were drawing a bath for her, Lewis became enraged, kicked in the bathroom door and yelled, “I should drown that little [expletive]!”, the warrant says.
Family members also told police that Lewis once grabbed the girl tightly around the neck, the warrant says. The child’s mother told police “that she could see the expression on the victim’s face that she could not breathe and that she was scared.” The woman said she wrested the child away from Lewis, police said.
In an interview with a DCF social worker and police, Lewis acknowledged the incident with the cleaning fluid and his threat to drown the girl, police said. He also admitted grabbing a kitchen knife and threatening to cut the girl, but said he was angry and would not have carried out the threat, the warrant said.