Local News

Fayetteville Group Home Staffer Charged In Beating Of Child

Posted February 22, 2002

— A staff member at a Fayetteville group home has been charged with beating a child he was supposed to protect.

Thursday, Fayetteville police arrested Robert Harbison, 51, on misdemeanor child abuse charges concerning the assault of a juvenile in his care.

Police said that Harbison was charged for inflicting injuries to Charles Montank, 10, as he was striking the boy on the buttocks and legs with a rod. Harbison was released on unsecured bond.

The boy told his grandmother, Nancy Montank, that he received burns and bruises while at the Spruce Wood Group Home.

Montank said that she is glad that the worker was arrested, but she does not think he will receive any severe punishment.

"My grandson got beat and the guy's gonna walk, probably gonna get a slap on the wrist," she said.

Montank said that her grandson will be moving to Texas to live with his father.

Fayetteville police do not plan to make any more arrests.

This is the second time allegations of physical abuse have surfaced against Spruce Wood. Investigators said that allegations made last February were dropped because of insufficient evidence.

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