POLICE | 5-year-old hospitalized after being physically abused by Louisville man

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville man is facing felony charges after investigators say he beat a 5-year-old boy so badly the child had to be hospitalized last September.

According to court documents, 33-year-old Michael D. Hall was indicted for first degree criminal abuse in December.

The alleged incident took place on Sept. 13, 2016. Authorities say Hall was babysitting his girlfriend's son at an apartment complex on Fordhaven Road, near the intersection of St. Andrews Church Road and St. Anthony Church Road.

According to Louisville Metro Police, the boy's mother told officers that her son didn't go to school that day because his teacher said he had not been doing well in school, and since his class was going on a field trip to watch a Stage One production that day, the teacher wanted to make him stay home to punish him.

Police say the mom told them she had left the boy in the care of her friend, Hall, while she went to an interview with a nursing home.

According to court documents, she called Hall when she was on her way home from the interview, and he told her that the boy had been injured after he fell on his bike. Hall also allegedly said that he got up, then fell again, hitting his head on the side of a table.

But when the boy's mother arrived, she asked a witness -- a man who was also in the apartment -- what had happened, and he allegedly told a different story. He said Hall had spanked the boy with a wooden stick and a belt. He then allegedly sat on top of him, pulling his ears and hitting him on the head with a belt.

That day the boy's mother called 911, crying and saying that her child needed to be checked out.

"It's about my son," she can be heard weeping on the call. "He got bruises on him because somebody watched him early yesterday and he can barely walk!"

"When I picked him up from my interview, he got bruises on his face -- on his body," she added.

Police say the boy was taken to the emergency room. According to court documents, a doctor at the hospital told police that they would be admitting the boy because his urine sample was full of blood, likely due to Rhabdomyolysis, a type of muscle breakdown due to tissue damage that can ultimately lead to kidney failure.

"The victim sustained bruises to his face, ear, back, buttocks, arms and legs as well as an abrasion on his face, and complained of pain to his ankle," court documents state. "The victim also had abdominal trauma and significant muscle damage leading to Rhabdomyolysis."

The boy was treated and released a couple of days later.

Police say that when they confronted Hall, he told them that the boy's mother asked him to punish the boy for her because of his misbehavior at school. He allegedly admitted to whipping him with a belt, and said the boy tried to run away, tripping and hitting his head on a bicycle and table. Hall said he then "switched tactics" and made him do pushups. He said the boy never complained of any pain -- and already had bruising due to playing football.

Hall was later asked to come to the Louisville Metro Police Crimes Against Children Unit for an interview, but he never showed up, according to court documents.

He was indicted for first degree criminal abuse in December. The specifics of the alleged abuse were included in court documents filed on Wednesday.

He was taken to Louisville Metro Corrections.

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