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Massena man charged with assault following tussle with stepson

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MASSENA - Village police charged Robert T. Brand, 35, of 24 Chase St., Massena, with third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child Wednesday night following an investigation into an incident that occurred Monday night.

He allegedly fractured his 13-year-old stepson’s thumb after an argument turned physical at their home. Brand told Acting Massena Village Justice James M. Crandall that he has since moved out of that home and is staying with a family member in Hannawa Falls.

Mr. Crandall released Brand under the supervision of the probation department and signed a temporary order of protection directing him to stay away from 24 Chase St.

The teenager, in the statement he provided police, said his stepfather became upset after he called him a “psycho” and tensions rose even higher after Brand pushed him onto this bed. He said he told Brand not to touch him and to get out of his bedroom.

He said his stepfather started poking him in the arms and sides. The teenager said he responded by slapping his stepfather in the cheek. The physical confrontation continued, and the 13-year-old told police Brand eventually stuck the side of his hand in his mouth, gagging the teenager.

“I kicked him in the chest and pushed his chin with my palm. He took my finger and squeezed it and twisted it. When he did this, it popped out of place. My finger was pointed backwards in the wrong direction,” the teenager told police.

The teen’s mother was at work when the incident took place. The teen said shortly after the incident Brand called he and his brother downstairs and asked, “What’s the story guys,” the 13-year-old said.

The teen and his brother said they initially decided to say the thumb had been broken when they were playing football in the dark, but when his brother was taking him to the hospital they decided to change the story to suggest the injury had taken place when the siblings were fooling around wrestling.

The teen’s mother became aware of the incident Wednesday when she was discussing chores with one of her sons and he responded by pointing out he wasn’t the one breaking thumbs. After learning how her son’s finger had been fractured, the teen’s mom reported the incident to police.

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