Police: Man accused of brutal beating of boy hopes the two can be friends

Credit: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

An Arizona man accused in the brutal beating of his girlfriend's 4-year-old son admitted to injuring the child, but claimed it was "in a playful manner," police said.

Steven Darrell Nelson, 25, was arrested Tuesday on child abuse charges for an incident that took place in early February, police told azcentral.com.

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The child suffered multiple injuries, including a broken leg, a lacerated liver and a perforated bowel, azcentral.com reported. In addition, the child suffered extensive bruising and had his hair pulled out by the roots, according to court documents.

The boy's mother denied that she or Nelson abused the child, but the child allegedly told police, "Steven hurt me," azcentral.com reported.

According to court records, Nelson admitted to police that he injured the child, but said it was "in a playful manner." Nelson told police he hoped he and the child could be friends one day, azcentral.com reported.

Nelson is being held on a $50,000 bond, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

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