Beating of children not the 1st time, neighbor says

Beating of children not the 1st time, neighbor says

November 16th, 2011 by Naomi Jagoda in News

James Lee Skiles

Jameika Green said she has called police on multiple occasions to report that the man next door was abusing his girlfriend's children.

On Saturday, police arrested James Lee Skiles, 34, on three counts of aggravated child abuse or neglect and one count of child abuse and neglect, after he was accused of beating four children. He is set to appear in Hamilton County General Sessions Court on Friday.

"This ain't the first, the second, the third, the fourth or the fifth [time]," Green said. "No one should have to go through that."

On Friday, Chattanooga police went to 4905 Jeffery Lane in the Emma Wheeler Homes public housing development in response to a call about possible abuse.

Melissa Pinion told officers that she left her six children with Skiles, her boyfriend, and when she returned home, she found her 2-year-old twins covered in bruises and one with a swollen leg, according to the arrest report.

Police also found a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old at the house with bruises, and they told officers that Skiles hit them with his fist, the arrest report stated.

The four injured children were taken to Erlanger Children's Hospital to be treated and the twins were admitted, police said.

Hospital staff told police that one of the twins had a fractured femur, broken rib and bruising on most of her body. The other had rib fractures, bruising on his abdomen and back and a perforated bowel that required emergency surgery, the arrest report said.

The 7-year-old and the 10-year-old were examined in the emergency room for minor bruising, the report said.

At the hospital, police spoke to the victims' 13-year-old sister, who said that, when she came home from school, she saw the 2-year-olds and the 7-year-old standing, facing the wall, with their arms above their heads. Whenever they put their hands down, Skiles would punch them on their bodies, the report said.

She told police that she saw Skiles hit them about five times.

The 13-year-old asked Skiles why he was hitting them and he said that the twins had wet the bed during naptime and the 7-year-old got into trouble at school, the report said.

When Skiles' friend came over, he told the children to go upstairs. One of the 2-year-olds began throwing up, and Skiles told the 13-year-old to tell her mother to take him to the doctor, the report stated.

Green said she has visited the children at the hospital twice.

"They're still trying to pull themselves together," she said.