SALEM — A Salem father charged with punching and throwing his 10-year-old son onto a bed Friday afternoon was taken into custody in a Salem District Court courtroom yesterday afternoon after a judge revoked his bail in another pending case and ordered him held without bail.
Steven Nassor, 53, of 33 Upham St. pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault and battery on a child causing injury during his arraignment yesterday afternoon.
Prosecutor Heidi Sylvanowicz told Judge Matthew Nestor that Nassor apparently became enraged when the boy refused to stop playing a game on a cellphone Friday afternoon to get him something.
The boy told investigators that he protested, saying the game was almost over. Nassor grabbed the phone, threw it to the floor, then punched the boy and picked him up from underneath his armpits, pinching him hard.
The boy fled to the home of a neighbor who regularly baby-sits him and told her what had happened, Sylvanowicz said.
Nassor showed up soon after but fled when the woman said she was calling the police, said the prosecutor.
Police went to Nassor’s apartment, which was squalid, with a plastic tarp filled with puddles of water covering the kitchen floor, clothes piled everywhere, no clear place for the boy to sleep and little food in the refrigerator, said the prosecutor.
Nassor was arrested later Friday after being found in Peabody.
This is not the first time Nassor has been accused of abuse, said the prosecutor, noting a report last year that he had been seen dragging the boy from a car.
The boy was taken to North Shore Children’s Hospital to be evaluated for pain in his ribs. He is now with a foster family, said the prosecutor.
The boy’s mother, Lorna Glover Nassor, is currently serving a three-to-four year prison term for her fourth drunken-driving arrest, which came after a crash in Swampscott. While that case was pending, she, too, was accused of abusing the boy by punching him in the face hard enough to draw blood.
Defense lawyer Heidi Shore said Nassor denies the charges and urged the judge to let her client leave.
Shore said that according to Nassor, the boy has unusually severe tantrums and has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, for which he receives disability.
Nassor, too, is considered disabled by the government, said Shore, who noted that he is currently on pain medications and methadone.
And while a prosecutor expressed concern that Nassor seemed to be under the influence of drugs while in court yesterday, noting that he appeared to be nodding off, Shore suggested that he was simply tired from a lack of sleep since his arrest.
While Nassor’s mother had posted his $3,000 bail, set by a clerk magistrate, over the weekend, prosecutors moved to increase that bail to $5,000 yesterday and asked the judge to revoke Nassor’s bail in a pending charge of driving while under the influence of marijuana.
Under Nestor’s ruling, Nassor’s bail will remain at $3,000 in the abuse case but is revoked for up to 60 days in the driving case, which stems from his arrest last April. That case is scheduled to go to trial on Sept. 5.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.