The Concord man accused of shooting BBs at his fiancée’s young daughters was ordered Thursday to stay away from the girls and from his own 1-year-old child until his case is resolved.
Steven Scroger, 29, who has been jailed since Sunday, was weeping when he was brought from the Erie County Holding Center to Town of Concord court Thursday. He waived his right to a felony hearing, and Town Justice Leslie Gibbin set bail at $50,000.
Scroger is accused of shooting a BB gun at his fiancée’s daughters, who are 4 and 6 years old, allegedly to “punish” them. He is charged 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.
The girls’ injuries reportedly were discovered by their father, who took them to Mercy Ambulatory Care Center in Orchard Park on Saturday to be examined.
Authorities said the children were shot numerous times with the pellets and that Scroger had instructed them to say the bruises were bug bites if anyone asked about them.
Investigators recovered a BB gun from the home where the girls lived with their mother, who was in court Thursday but didn’t speak with Scroger.
On Tuesday, Erie County Sheriff’s Capt. Gregory Savage called the matter “one of the most serious cases we’ve seen of child endangerment, child abuse recently here.”
Investigators say Scroger admitted shooting BBs at the girls, and on Thursday he appeared stricken as he wept before the proceedings began.
He also still has a visible limp from the leg injuries he suffered in June when he was pinned between a train and a shipping container while at work at a Norfolk Southern rail yard in Cheektowaga.
According to an online fundraising page started for him after the accident, he lost the use of his right leg for some time due to nerve damage.
Scroger’s attorney, David S. Sarkovics, who pointed out that Scroger has no criminal record, said that he has a clear understanding of the gravity of the case.
“Whenever there are allegations involving children, people take it very seriously,” Sarkovics said.