Man accused of hitting child for not being able to tie his shoes


MACON COUNTY, Ill. (WAND) - A Macon County man is facing charges after police said he battered a 6-year-old child for not being able to tie his shoes.

39-year-old Merriman Randall was charged with aggravated battery to a child and domestic battery.

Police said the assault happened around 7:30 Thursday morning at a home in the 3000 block of E. Harrison.

Randall lives with the child and the child's mother, but is not the child's biological father. He has helped raise the child for the past four years.

The little boy told police Randall smacked him in the face and butt with an open hand when he could not tie his own shoes.

He said when he went to the bathroom to have his hair combed before school, Randall hit him in the side of the head when he did not keep his head still. When he moved his head again, he said Randall hit him a second time, knocking him into the door frame and causing him to hit his forehead.

The child had swelling and bruising on the right side of his forehead. He also had a red abrasion to the left side of his head and a red mark next to his left eye. He was taken to Crossing Health Care at DMH for treatment by DCFS and released.

Randall turned himself in at police headquarters. He admitted to tapping the side of the child's head with his fingertips, after which the boy hit his head against the door frame. He said he used an ice pack on the boy before taking him to school.

Randall has a bond of $7,500. If he posts it, he will be in court for arraignment April 3. If he does not make bond, his arraignment will be March 9.

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