An 11-year-old boy was in protective custody this weekend, and his parents arrested, after the boy ran away from home to escape beatings and reported the abuse to authorities, police said.
Robert Marshall Jr., 27, and Denise Marshall, 32, of the 200 block of Myrtle Drive in Augusta, each were charged with cruelty to a child, said Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Steve Tovar.
Their 14-year-old son was charged with aggravated assault in connection with the beatings.
The parents were held Sunday at the Richmond County Jail while the teen was in custody at the Regional Youth Detention Center.
The 11-year-old boy, who police asked not to be identified, ran away from home Saturday afternoon and went to the Child Advocacy Center in Augusta.
He had been taken to the center on a previous occasion to wait for his parents when he had missed the school bus. The boy told officials at the center that he was homeless and needed a place to stay.
When deputies arrived and tried to take him home, the boy told police his father and stepmother tied him up and beat him with a belt. Investigator Tovar said the boy's stepbrother was involved in the beatings, but would not provide details.
The boy was treated at University Hospital, where doctors discovered scars from possible previous beatings. The boy told investigators he had been beaten for a long time and ran away to escape the abuse.