HOUMA, La. -- A 10-year-old child was found starving and scarred as he walked alone along Grand Calliou Road Tuesday morning, and his father now faces child abuses charges, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office said.
Nicholas Verdin, 34, of 3472-A Grand Caillou Road, allowed his son to walk to his grandmother's East Houma home alone, Capt. Dawn Foret said.
When deputies stopped the child to ask why he was by himself, the child told them that he was walking home, Foret said.
Officials allegedly then noticed the boy had both old and fresh cigarette burns on his hands and feet, she said.
When deputies took the child to the East Houma address, his grandmother answered the door. She told officials that the boy did not live with her, but with Verdin on Grand Calliou Road.
The child then allegedly told deputies Verdin forced him to hold several pounds of textbooks for long periods of time as he knelt in rice.
The boy had significant scarring on his knees due to the abuse, Foret said.
He was taken to a local hospital and treated for his injuries, she said. Hospital staff also noted that he was “severely malnourished,” Foret said.
The Department of Children and Family Services has taken custody of the child.
Verdin was charged with cruelty to a juvenile, and is being held at the Terrebonne Parish jail.
His bond has not yet been set.