A 26-year-old San Bernardino County man on probation for physically abusing his 9-year-old son has been arrested on suspicion of beating the boy and his younger sister, authorities said Thursday.
After the 5-year-old girl returned from a weekend visit with her father, Antwone Rattler, her mother noticed significant bruising on the child’s back, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner’s Department.
The girl told detectives that her father had beaten her for misbehaving. He also bound and gagged her and forced her to hold “physically exhausting” positions for long periods, said a Sheriff’s Department news release.
Her older brother reported that his father had inflicted similar punishments on him.
Rattler, of Highland, pleaded not guilty to four counts of child abuse, including two counts of willful cruelty leading to possible injury or death. He is being held on $500,000 bail at West Valley Detention Center.
In January 2011, Rattler was arrested in Riverside after police investigators observed visible injuries on both children. According to an arrest warrant, the boy told police that his father beat him with a belt, making him strip naked before the beatings.
The girl, who had a bruised and swollen lip, said her father had also beaten her with a belt.
Both children told investigators that their father hit them on the hands with a hanger until their fingers bled.
The girl, then 3, told investigators that the beatings “hurt bad, but I am being good now.”
Rattler pleaded guilty in Riverside Superior Court to two counts of inflicting bodily harm on a child. He was sentenced to six months in jail, six months in the sheriff’s labor program and three years of probation.
According to court records, Rattler was required to enroll in child abuse classes and refrain from using corporal punishment on his children.
-- Cindy Chang