Man accused of hitting autistic grandson in the face - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Man accused of hitting autistic grandson in the face

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CHATTOOGA COUNTY, GA. (WRCB)  --  A Chattooga County man is accused of hitting his 11-year-old autistic grandson in the face.  

Valter Hartbarger was at home across the street, when officers responded to a house in Chattooga County.

"All of a sudden I heard police cars and their sirens on. They cut them off up there, and I knew something happened around here," Hartbarger explains.

Deputies found an 11-year-old boy with autism, on the front porch with blood on his face, hands and clothes. Channel 3 obtained a copy of the incident report that says blood was splattered on the porch and inside the house.

Family members say Benjamin Steve Blalock, 55, hit his grandson in the face. Blalock's wife would not go into detail, but did tell Channel 3 she doesn't know why her husband did it.

Channel 3 spoke with the young boy's mom on the phone.

She says her children came to stay with her at the house every other weekend.

At the time of the fight her 11-year-old son was making noodles on the stove for him and his brother when Blalock became irate and cut the water off.

The argument escalated; the young boy shot his grandfather the bird. That was returned with a blow to the face.

Hartbarger says he's known Blalock for decades, he's seen his temper before.

"He's had trouble with alcohol, he's had trouble with drugs," Hartbarger explains.  

The young boy was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Blalock was arrested and charged with first degree cruelty to children.

"Well I'd tell him that I can forgive people for a lot of things but that, somebody hitting a kid, I just can't, I just can't do it," Hartbarger says.

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