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Published: Friday, 4/26/2002

Dad held in use of saw blade on son, 3

VAN WERT - A local judge told a Convoy, Ohio, father yesterday he can't return home or see his children after he was charged with using a saw blade to discipline his 3-year-old son.

Judge Phil Campbell also ordered Mark Dealey, 36, to remain at the local county jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bond on a charge of child endangering, a third-degree felony.

If convicted, he could be fined up to $10,000 and serve one to five years in prison.

Deputy Jim Hyitt, chief of investigations for the sheriff's department, said a babysitter informed Van Wert Children Services of the alleged incident, which occurred Sunday. After investigating, the agency took the boy into protective custody and turned the case over to the sheriff's department Wednesday.

Deputy Hyitt said the boy had scratches on his arms, legs, back, and chest. He would not say what prompted the punishment. “It was his form of correcting the kid,” the deputy said. “It wasn't like he was carved all up, but it ain't no way to correct a 3-year-old.”

The deputy said the blade was part of a power saw, but the blade was not in the machine when it was used on the boy.

Deputy Hyitt said he was not aware of any other incidents involving Mr. Dealey, who is married and has three other children.

Sandy Honigford, administrator of the county's children services agency, said state law prevents her from discussing the case.

Mr. Dealey appeared in Van Wert Municipal Court yesterday with his wife, Sandra. The judge scheduled a preliminary hearing for May 3.

When contacted at their home, Mrs. Dealey declined comment.

Should Mr. Dealey post bond, the judge said he could not possess or have access to firearms, nor visit his home and children.

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