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Police and fire

  • Missing Mount Etna teen found in Fort Wayne
    17-year-old Brandon Smith who had been missing since Friday, was found safe in downtown Fort Wayne Sunday morning, the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department said.
  • 1 dead, 1 wounded in shooting on East Rudisill
    An adult male died from gunshot wounds early Sunday, according to Fort Wayne police spokesman Jason Anthony.Officers responded to a shooting about 12:55 a.m. in the 600 block of East Rudisill Boulevard.
  • Police seek help finding Mount Etna boy
    A teenage boy with special needs is still missing from Huntington County, and police hope the public can offer some tips.

Child battery allegations lodged

Male caretaker tied to scratches, sign of bite mark

– When police found Toriano A. Kurtz, he was hiding in a cemetery from three people he said chased and sprayed him with Mace because of injuries a child suffered while in his care, court records said.

Police later found those injuries involved scratches to the child’s chest and a bite mark to his cheek, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Friday.

As a result, Kurtz, of the 1100 block of Chute Street, was charged with a felony count of battery to a child younger than 14 years old and one count of being a habitual offender after three unrelated prior felony convictions.

About midnight Tuesday, the child’s mother asked Kurtz to baby-sit while she and her boyfriend went to the store to get diapers for the child, police said.

When the mother and boyfriend returned home, Kurtz handed the child, whose age was not listed, to the mother’s boyfriend and apologized for the scratches to the child that Kurtz said occurred accidentally, the report said.

As the woman took the child to bed, she noticed a bruise on the child’s cheek, according to the report.

Kurtz later returned to the house but ran when confronted about the marks to the child, according to the affidavit.

He told police three people chased him from the home and sprayed him with Mace, at which point he called police and hid in a nearby cemetery, according to the police report.

In an interview with police, Kurtz said he accidentally scratched the child and then became frustrated because the child was crying as a result, according to the affidavit.

Kurtz told police he then bit the child on the cheek, the affidavit said.

Investigators said the child’s skin was not broken from the bite, but did have a bruise from it besides the scratches on his chest and left side.

Kurtz was being held Friday night in lieu of $2,500 bail.