Man Sentenced to Jail for Beating 4-year-old Boy

CLEARFIELD – A DuBois man accused of beating a 4-year-old boy pleaded guilty to lesser charges Tuesday during plea and sentencing court in Clearfield County.  

Michael Christopher Hartzfeld, 30, 312 Quarry Ave., DuBois, pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of children and harassment. He was sentenced to 10 days to one year in jail and two years consecutive probation. He was fined $1,025 plus costs. He must also attend anger management counseling.

Prior to sentencing, Clearfield County President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman questioned whether the mother was in favor of the plea agreement. She was in the courtroom to verify this and the fact that she didn’t want a “no contact” condition in his sentence.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Nov. 22 police were dispatched to a Chestnut Avenue residence for a possible child abuse incident. A woman who was babysitting the victim stated when the mother left the victim in her care, she noticed he had bruises all over his face and neck. She asked the mother what happened, and she said that her boyfriend, Hartzfeld, had lost his temper the night before. The victim had several bruises on his neck that were consistent with injuries sustained by being choked. He also had bruises on his arms and back. When asked by police how he got the marks, the boy said he was bad last night and “Mike” hit him.

Clearfield County Children, Youth and Family Services was contacted and a caseworker began an investigation into the incident.

Police contacted the victim’s mother at work and asked her to meet them at the residence. Hartzfeld also arrived at the residence. Hartzfeld explained that the boy was being very bad the previous night. He tried to calm him down, but he would not listen, he claimed. Hartzfeld admitted he went overboard, but he stated he lost his cool because the boy would not calm down.

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