BENNINGTON >> A Bennington man is being accused of throwing a glass bowl that struck a six-year-old girl in the head causing her to bleed. This is the same girl he pleaded guilty in August to having strangled.
Anthony M. Ketcham, 25, of Bennington, pleaded not guilty on April 5 to misdemeanor counts of domestic assault, and cruelty to a child. He was released without bail under the conditions he have no contact with the child and not care for children under 12.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Detective Lawrence Cole, on April 4 he learned that a report had been to the Department of Children and Families by an elementary school teacher who said a 6-year-old student had come in with a Band-Aid on her head covering a severe gash. She asked the child how she got the wound and she said, "(Ketcham) threw a glass bowl across the room and I didn't duck."
She told police that Ketcham came home after having left her alone and was angry that she had been playing outside. She said he threw her across the room.
When asked if the glass bowl she had been hit with was broken before or after it was thrown at her, she told police she had been instructed by her mother not to tell what really happened, otherwise Ketcham would go to jail.
Ketcham told police that he was cleaning a room, and that his usual method for doing this is to throw items into the hall. The last thing he threw was a bowl, which he did not realize was glass. It hit the wall and broke apart. A piece hit the girl, causing the injury.
After tending the wound, he asked a neighbor to come over and watch the girl while he took his other child to get food. He claimed not to know the neighbor well, but knew his girlfriend and so he trusted him.
Cole then asked about the throwing incident. Ketcham denied it. Police then asked him why one of his neighbors had reported hearing him yelling loudly at the child for playing outside. Ketcham said the neighbor was supposed to be the one watching the child, but had not done so.
Cole wrote that police were never really told by a neighbor that Ketcham had been yelling.
Ketcham said the child may be thinking of an incident that occurred three years prior, which had already been dealt with by DCF and deemed an accident.
Ketcham was then arrested.
The child's mother then spoke to police and clarified that the incident happened on April 1, not April 2 as police thought. She said she believes Ketcham left the child alone three times that evening. He sent her a photo of the child's injury that did not appear serious. She was surprised that Ketcham would say he did not know the neighbor he had watch the child well, as they have known each other for some time.
She believed the bowl-throwing incident to be an accident and had never heard this three-year-old story about the girl being thrown.
Police went to the apartment where the bowl incident happened and had the child recount the incident. They saw a mark on the wall where the bowl supposedly hit. Cole wrote that the mark did not look like it was caused by a glass bowl and was also too low for a broken piece to fly up and hit the child.
Cole wrote that he does not know if the incident was an accident or not, but believed it to be reckless. He said he also felt the girl was telling the truth about having been thrown and that it was a recent event.
Ketcham is currently on probation for having pleaded guilty on Aug. 10 to a misdemeanor count of domestic assault where he admitted to strangling the girl out of frustration.
— Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at 802-447-7567 Ext. 115.