A Concord man is accused of what one investigator described as “one of the most serious cases we’ve seen of child endangerment, child abuse recently here,” repeatedly shooting his two stepdaughters, ages 4 and 6, with a BB gun to punish them.
“I can’t say an exact number of times that they were hit with BBs, but it was a lot,” Erie County Sheriff’s Capt. Gregory Savage said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. “It’s kind of hard to believe that in this day and age that anyone would do what this guy did and think that at some point it was not going to be discovered and reported and investigated.”
The case unfolded Saturday when sheriff’s deputies were called to Mercy Ambulatory Care Center in Orchard Park after medical staff found numerous wounds on the two girls.
The girls’ biological father had brought them to the hospital to have them examined, officials said.
During the investigation, authorities determined Steven Scroger, 29, shot the girls with the BB gun as punishment. They also learned that Scroger had instructed the girls not to tell anyone about their injuries and to say they were bug bites if anyone asked.
Investigators went to the girls’ home and found a BB gun at the home.
They also questioned Scroger, who admitting shooting the girls. He was taken into custody.
It’s believed the girls were shot on two separate occasions within a short period of time, a few days before they were taken to see the doctor.
Authorities charged Scroger with two felony counts of assaulting a person younger than 7 years old, two misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a weapon with intent to use and three counts of acting in a manner injurious to a child. They are also considering charging the mother.
Scroger is being held in the Erie County Holding Center on $7,500 cash bail or $75,000 bond. He is due in Concord Town Court on Thursday.
There was also a 1-year-old child in the house. Authorities said there was no sign of abuse on that child.
The three children have been removed from the household of the mother and stepfather and are now staying with another relative, sheriff’s officials said.