Little River man beats child with kitchen utensils, report says

Joshua Skeen (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Joshua Skeen (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) A Little River man has been arrested after detectives say he hit one child with a kitchen utensil and punched an 8-year-old in the mouth.

Horry County Police arrested 29-year-old Joshua Skeen after, according to a police report obtained by WMBF News, he beat a young boy and girl for lying and back-talk.

The investigation began when the mother of the two victims called HCPD when she was contacted by a school official saying her 8-year-old daughter had told a teacher she had been punched in the mouth by Skeen.

Detectives responded to the complainant's Conway home spoke with the young girl who explained Skeen punched her in the mouth because she refused to allow him to put dish soap inside her mouth for back-talk.

The report details that the little girl told Skeen her backside hurt and she did not want to get spanked, and he demanded she open her mouth to have the dish soap poured inside for back talking. When the 8-year-old refused the soap, Skeen punched her with a closed fist, the report documents.

Detectives also spoke with a 7-year-old boy within the home who told police in detail how Skeen bent him over a kitchen table chair and spanked him with a black, plastic kitchen utensil with a serrated edge.

The young victim said he was beaten because he didn't tell the truth about something, and while Skeen was hitting the child, repeatedly said "stop your lying," the report states.

Police also documented within the report that the 7-year-old explained how Skeen held his head under water until he couldn't breathe. The victim said this incident took place because he turned off his shower water because it was getting cold.

The children were able to give detectives the kitchen utensils with which they reported to be hit. The young girl also pointed to the dish detergent above the kitchen sink and stated that was the soap Skeen attempted to put in her mouth.

The children's mother told officers she was unaware of any of these situations, and gave them instructions on where they could find Skeen.

According to the police report, the school official did state that the Department of Social Services was contacted concerning the reported abuse.

J. Reuben Long Detention Center records list Skeen as incarcerated on charges of assault of a high and aggravated nature, assault and battery of the first degree, and two charges of unlawful neglect of child or helpless person by legal custodian.

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