Crime

York County dad beat son, 4, who slept on bedding covered with roaches, police say

Do you know the signs of child abuse & neglect? Here are 10 things to look for

The South Carolina Department of Social Services lists numerous signs of child abuse and neglect. Here are 10 signs to look for if you suspect a school-aged child is being abused.
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The South Carolina Department of Social Services lists numerous signs of child abuse and neglect. Here are 10 signs to look for if you suspect a school-aged child is being abused.

A York County father has been charged with child neglect after police say he beat his son with a belt and let the child sleep in an area covered with cockroaches.

Teddy Lee Dyer Jr., 25, was arrested Thursday around 9:45 p.m. on View Heights Way, north of Clover near the North Carolina state line with Gaston County.

The child, 4, was found with welts on his back after a beating the night before after over-the-counter pain medication was left on the floor by his dad, according to a York County Sheriff’s Office report. The child also had been hit in the head, the report said.

Officers were told the child had “severe bruising on his back and arms.” Officers saw bruises that ran down the child’s back to the top of his buttocks, according to the report.

The child was taken into emergency protective custody by South Carolina social services officials.

Det. Walter Beck and other officers seized social media messages exchanged by Dyer and others after the child was harmed. York County deputies coordinated with Gaston County law enforcement because the child at some point had been in foster care in North Carolina and police were involved.

While investigating at the home, deputies found the sofa where Dyer told police his son slept.

“The furniture, walls, floor and bedspread were all covered in cockroaches,” police said in the report. “There was food, cat feces and debris scattered all over the entire residence.”

The charge against Dyer is a felony and carries up to 10 years in prison for a conviction, South Carolina law shows.

Dyer remains in the York County jail under a $1,500 bond, records show.

South Carolina law specifies how long of a prison term a person could face for child abuse in the state of South Carolina.

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.

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