Niagara Falls Police launched a child abuse investigation Sunday after an 11-year-old boy told them that his father told him to make a late-night delivery of drugs.
The child, a month shy of his 12th birthday, showed up crying at a friend's house around midnight Saturday, according to reports. The friend's mother tried to ascertain why the child was so obviously upset, and all he would tell her was that he had "made a mistake" and was afraid to go home because his dad would hit him.
The mother phoned police, who learned that the boy's father had directed him to take his bike and make a delivery of narcotics around 11 p.m. Saturday. While riding to the drop-off spot at 17th Street and Pine Avenue, the boy dropped the package, could not locate it and was afraid to go back home. Instead, he rode to a friend's house.
The boy reportedly told police that his father had never made such a request before, but that he routinely uses drugs in front of the child and there is near-constant traffic to their home of people purchasing drugs from the father. When asked whether his mother was aware of the situation, according to reports the boy told police that she is "in jail in Florida for robbing banks."
The boy told police that when upset, his father hits him with whatever is handy – video game cords, chairs and cups were some of the examples he listed – and police located fresh bruises on his legs and older wounds and scars on his arms.
Officers then went to the boy's house and spoke with the father, who thought that his son was at a cousin's house. He denied engaging in excessive corporal punishment and reportedly told police the boy "is probably mad about me telling him to do something earlier." There was no further elaboration.
The boy was allowed to stay overnight at the friend's home and police contacted Child Protective Services to continue an investigation into the allegations.