The founder of the A&A Youth Community and Learning Center was charged Thursday with cruelty to children, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said.
Allen Smith Sr., 50, turned himself in to authorities after an investigation into the allegation that he hit a 9-year-old child in his care with a ruler in October, 2016.
The sheriff’s office was called by the child’s mother on October 20, 2016. The alleged incident occurred at the A&A Community and Learning Center at 121 Highland Forest Drive, which the child attended.
Smith is charged with assaulting the child with a wooden ruler on October 19, bruising the boy’s “lower body and right forearm,” Lott said.
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Smith founded the youth center in 2004 because his children needed after-school care, the center’s website states. The center promotes itself as an affordable and high quality program of after-school and summer child care that focuses of classroom skills in a “highly structured and disciplined environment.”
An message left at the center for comment about the charges had not been returned at the time of this writing.
Smith was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on Thursday with bond set at $5,000.