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Indiana grandpa accused of abusing grandson at Grand Canyon appears in court
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) ' An Indiana man is accused of forcing his three young grandsons on brutal hikes at the Grand Canyon, beating them, making them walk on ulcerated blisters, denying them food and water and pushing them to run up the trail under the intense sun.
Christopher A. Carlson, of Indianapolis, was arrested and charged with child abuse. A complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Flagstaff says rangers and passers-by noted the alleged abuse by Carlson against the boys, ages 12, 9 and 8.
One of the hikes was 19 miles last weekend, when temperatures reached 108 degrees at Phantom Ranch along the Colorado River, the Arizona Daily Sun (http://bit.ly/o6nxMQ) reported. A ranger spotted the group with binoculars on a trail, and saw Carlson shoving the oldest boy and whipping him with a rolled-up shirt, authorities said.
The boys told investigators that they had been hit, pushed, choked, pinched, squeezed and whipped and had vomited several times, sometimes when the man forced their fingers down their throats.
They also said they were not allowed to drink water and had been limited to little food. Rangers fed and hydrated the boys inside an ambulance and they were placed in the care of child protective services.
Carlson was in court Thursday at a hearing to determine whether he should be released from custody. He has been appointed a defense attorney.