Man attacks boy with sponge

March 5, 2009 6:02:16 AM PST
A western Pennsylvania man shoved a sponge in a 5-year-old boy's mouth until he vomited and hit the boy in the head for not taking care of a pet crab.

Twenty-nine-year-old Robert Steindl Jr. faces a maximum of five years in prison when he's sentenced April 16 in Fayette County Common Pleas Court.

Authorities aren't discussing Steindl's relationship to the boy, but defense attorney Patrick McDaniel says it is a "family situation" that has involved social service agencies. He says Steindl has been receiving counseling since shortly after the incident in January 2008.

The Associated Press could not locate a listed telephone for Steindl who pleaded guilty to child endangerment and other charges Tuesday.

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