Ozark man arrested after 9-year-old is beaten and almost drowned in creek

State News

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ark. – Johnson County deputies arrested a man Thursday night after a 9-year-old was beaten and almost drowned in a creek.

According to investigators, deputies responded to calls of a man suffering from a mental crisis.  When they arrived, they found a 9-year-old who had been physically assaulted.

The boy told investigators that a man attempted to drown him in a nearby creek. Deputies noted that the boy had sustained serious injuries that were consistent with him being beaten. The boy added he did not know his attacker and only survived the attack by playing dead until the attacker left.

Deputies were able to locate a man matching the description of the attacker, 27-year-old Mitchell Salito of Ozark.

Salito was arrested and is now facing charges of first-degree battery, kidnapping, first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor and a misdemeanor failure to appear warrant.

The additional charges of second-degree assault and disorderly conduct were added after deputies were made aware of another incident on the same day which had happened during an unrelated encounter.

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