(CBS) NEW HAVEN, Conn. - New Haven man Craig Williams is being held without bail for allegedly beating his 9-year-old stepdaughter and inflicting "the worst case of child abuse I've ever seen," according to Assistant New Haven Police Chief Archie Generoso.
The New York Daily News reports that Williams, 45, was arrested last Saturday and charged with second-degree assault and risk of injury to a minor. When cops found Williams, he was at a gas station with his wife and four kids, apparently preparing to flee town as the 9-year-old daughter was in the hospital recovering.
Prior to his arrest, police say they found the little girl in a nearby park covered with scars and bruises after Williams and his wife had told cops their daughter had run away from home.
The girl told cops that Williams beat her because she wasn't his biological child, the New Haven Register reported. His four biological children were not abused, she added.
Initially, the 9-year-old told police that her stepbrothers beat her up, but later admitted that it was her stepfather who beat her, and that he coached her to lie about her injuries.
When asked about her scars, she said that "the one on her chest was when her stepfather used a little knife. The one on her back was when her stepfather used a big knife," Generoso told The Register.
The New Haven Register reported that Williams often beat, cut, and handcuffed his 9-year-old stepdaughter to a radiator. She told police that recent injuries stemmed from when he struck her with a baseball bat as she tried to hide from him under her dresser. He also at one point broke her hip and told her to tell doctors that she injured herself while riding her bike down a set of stairs. The girl said that her father also used a large flashlight and a black leather belt to beat her, and would sometimes take her to the basement to hide it from her mother.
Officer Kristen Fitzgerald, who responded to the runaway report, said, "The numerous scars on (her) body were substantiating the account she was giving of years of abuse. Scars and bruises were all in various states of healing or healed."
Handcuffs and a machete were seized from his home after the arrest; Williams' wife was not charged.