BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa. (TCD) -- A couple faces multiple child abuse charges after alleged extensive abuse of three children.
Bedford State Police told WTAJ-TV that on Dec. 17, 2021, 29-year-old Daisy Maust and 27-year-old Dakota Bussard lied to authorities during a welfare check of a boy and two girls. A day before the welfare check, one of the children reportedly suffered a broken leg. Another child sustained a broken arm, and all three children had bruises, WTAJ reports.
According to WJAC-TV, Bussard told authorities one of the kids fell out of the car with a diaper bag tangled around her leg during a shopping trip. On Feb. 10, Maust reportedly told Everett Borough Police that she was inside the store and Bussard was in the car with the children. At the time, WTAJ reports police were looking into a separate incident involving Bussard bruising the children’s ribs and covering the mouth of one of them.
On Feb. 22, WJAC reports Maust told state police in an interview that the children said Bussard would hit them and cause bruises as far back as Christmas 2021. Maust allegedly did not report the crime because she was afraid Bussard might retaliate.
According to WTAJ, Maust also told police Bussard used pliers to squeeze a child’s fingers, and he squeezed and twisted a child’s leg. Additionally, Bussard reportedly threw a cowboy boot toward one of the kids’ heads and used a lighter to burn skin.
According to WTAJ, Maust told authorities she and Bussard made plans of what to say prior to talking with Child Youth Services and police. She reportedly claimed Bussard directed her on what to say regarding the incident. The two also allegedly planned to fake an incident where a child cut her eye and made it look like she fell into a dresser.
According to WJAC, Bussard has been arrested for several other assaults in the past, including a 2019 aggravated assault of another small child. He faces multiple charges including aggravated assault, simple assault, providing false information to authorities, and endangering the welfare of children.
Maust was reportedly charged with endangering the welfare of children. According to WTAJ, Bussard remains held at Bedford County Prison on $100,000 bail.