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The man arrested for dangling his 7-year-old stepson from a window at 3:15 a.m. Saturday has been beating his wife since recently being released from prison, a family member said.

And Buffalo police said Sunday that Thelbert Joseph, 29, was placed on parole recently until June 3, 1999, and could face return to prison.

Joseph, who listed a Prospect Avenue address, was arrested Saturday after allegedly dangling his stepson by the feet from a second-story window as punishment for misbehaving at school. The incident occurred in the apartment of his wife, Tina Joseph, 36, at 562 Seventh St.

"That man is sick in the head," said Shirley Dudley, an aunt of Mrs. Joseph and a resident of the nearby Lakeview Projects. "He just got out of jail in mid-October for dealing in drugs. He's been beating his wife ever since. She had to run down here with no socks and shoes on."

Police charged Joseph with assault, menacing, harassment, criminal trespass and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Mrs. Joseph said she refused to take part in the punishment and fled the apartment when Joseph slapped her son and opened the window. After Joseph pulled the boy back inside, the boy fled, too, and his mother called police.

Police said Joseph punched his wife in the face, threw her to the floor and kicked her in the ribs and shin, then slapped her son in the face before hanging him out the window. Mrs. Joseph suffered a black eye and other injuries to the face and body.

After beating his wife, Joseph threatened her with a butcher knife, according to police.

"(Joseph chased her) into her 7-year-old son's bedroom," the report said. "When (she) refused to come out of the bedroom, (he grabbed) a butcher knife (and said) in the presence of her son, 'Get out of the bedroom now or I'm gonna kill you.' "

Mrs. Dudley said Joseph has not been living with his wife since he was released on parole, and that an order of protection was issued.

"My niece is very afraid of him," she said.

Court officials were unavailable Sunday to determine whether a current order of protection is on file.

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