Shop owner charged with child abuse after reported scuffle

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A Wisconsin shop owner is facing child abuse charges after an altercation last week with a 17-year-old relative the owner says took money from him.

Steven V. Erato, 59, of Neenah, was charged Thursday in Winnebago County court with child enticement and child abuse in connection with the incident at Eagle Nation Cycles, according to the Post Crescent. The youth’s grandfather took him to the shop to make amends with Erato. The grandfather told police that on a phone call after the scuffle, Erato said, "You brought him down to a motorcycle clubhouse. What did you expect?"

Erato told police he argued with the teen and he grabbed a bamboo stick when the teen started "aggressively coming toward him." Erato says he was defending himself.

He could face up to 31 years in prison and $110,000 in fines if convicted on both counts. A preliminary hearing is set for April 28.

Posted by Holly Wagner

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