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Cage coach accused of beating son with a belt Canisius assistant faces felony count

An assistant coach of the Canisius College men's basketball team faces a felony assault charge for allegedly beating his 4-year-old son with a belt last month in the family's Lafayette Avenue home, according to Buffalo police reports.

Lazare Adingono, 31, known as "Adi" at Canisius, was arrested Feb. 10 by Buffalo police Detectives Jacqueline Sullivan and Karyn Carney.

According to the felony complaint, Adingono struck his son "with a belt numerous times, causing welts, bruising and pain" to the boy's back, neck and arms. The incident occurred at about 8 a.m. Jan. 15.

Sources told The Buffalo News that shortly after the incident, the boy's mother -- Adingono's wife, Maureen -- fled with the boy to Providence, R.I., where the boy was taken to Westerly Hospital and treated. The family came to Buffalo from Rhode Island three years ago.

Authorities in Rhode Island contacted Buffalo police after learning about the incident. "Detectives commenced an immediate investigation," said Michael J. DeGeorge, Buffalo police spokesman.

That investigation led to Adingono's arrest last week. Besides felony assault, he also was charged with a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child.

Further details were not available.

In addition to the boy who was the victim of the alleged attack, the couple also has a younger daughter. It was unclear whether the family had been reunited since the incident.

Adingono was released Wednesday from the Erie County Holding Center on $50,000 bail. He could not be reached to comment Thursday evening.

Adingono's status at the college was unavailable, but sources said he has been seen on the Canisius College bench for basketball games since the alleged attack.

Canisius officials refused to elaborate on Adingono's employment.

"Canisius College is aware of the charges against Lazare Adingono," said a statement released Thursday by Ellen O. Conley, vice president for student affairs. "This is a difficult and a very personal situation for Lazare and his family. Because it is not directly related to his work responsibilities, the college will not comment on it."

Adingono, a native of Cameroon, was a member of its national basketball team before starring at the University of Rhode Island early this decade. He is in his third season on Canisius' coaching staff.

e-mail: tpignataro@buffnews.com

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