MAHONING TWP., Pa. - A Carbon County mother is in jail for allegedly beating her child over a clogged toilet.
Mahoning Township police received a report from Lehighton Hospital about an assault on a juvenile on April 27.
The child's mother, Christine Mertz, hit the juvenile twice on the right side with a baseball bat and had also twice bitten and punched the juvenile, police said.
The incident was prompted by a clogged toilet, according to police.
The juvenile's sibling told police they'd witnessed the assault, and police saw bite marks on the juvenile.
Relatives tell 69 News the victim is a 15 year-old girl.
Neighbors are outraged over the accusations.
"Who does that? I mean that's just plain out ridiculous, it's crazy, how can a mother hurt her child like that? Biting? Come on, only dogs bite," said Samantha Steigerwalt.
"As a mother and a grandmother, I think that's disgusting. Who could do that to their child?" said neighbor Norma Steigerwalt.
"I'm appalled," said neighbor Kieran Kehlor. "Children are a gift."
Mertz was charged with endangering the welfare of children, simple assault and harassment.
She is currently in the Carbon County Prison on unrelated charges.
A preliminary hearing is set for May 21.
Allentown, PA 18102