Man accused of beating girlfriend's 4-year-old son, police say

AUSTIN, Texas — A man is accused of beating his girlfriend's 4-year-old son in Austin after a neighbor heard the child screaming for about 45 minutes, according to an arrest affidavit.

Chaz Zamir Anthony, 22, of Austin, was charged with injury to a child, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The boy was beaten so hard that laboratory tests showed he possibly had sustained significant muscle damage, the affidavit said.

Police were notified Nov. 15 by a neighbor who said a child was being beaten, according to the affidavit. The neighbor said the boy had been screaming for about 45 minutes. The incident occurred in a part of Austin that is in Williamson County.

When police arrived, they heard the child’s screams through the front door of the apartment where he lived, the affidavit said. Police found the boy crying in a back room of the apartment with numerous fresh bruises all over his body, according to the document.

It said Anthony told officers the victim’s mother had caused the bruises. The boy was taken to the hospital, where his mother told police she had given Anthony permission to spank her son after the child had wet his bed, the affidavit said.

The boy’s mother said she struck her son in the mouth before leaving for work, the document said. It said Anthony later told police he noticed the boy had blood on his mouth from the boy’s mother hitting him.

Anthony said he initially tried to wash the boy’s mouth but the boy began to fight him, the affidavit said. He also told police that after dropping the boy’s mother off at work, he returned home with the 4-year-old and told him he had to hold a book for two minutes in front of his body for discipline, the affidavit said.

Anthony said the boy refused to hold the book and also refused to sit against the wall, so he spanked the child, according to the affidavit.

It said the boy later told counselors at the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center that Anthony held his head underwater in a bathroom sink and choked him, so he bit Anthony’s finger.

The child said, according to the document, that Anthony later took off the boy’s clothes and beat him with a strap all over his body. The boy also said his mother only hit him on the hand and not on the mouth, the affidavit said.

Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas said the boy had too many bruises to count that were consistent with being struck with a belt, according to the affidavit. The boy’s lab results showed levels of certain enzymes “that are associated with significant muscle damage/breakdown,”it said.

Anthony was being held in the Williamson County Jail on Tuesday with bail set at $100,000.