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Police: Rochester man bit boy, punched 9-year-old

PORTSMOUTH — A Rochester man faces domestic assault charges after he allegedly bit one child and punched another Sunday, then assaulted their mother.

According to Portsmouth police, at 11:41 a.m. Sunday officers responded to a call of domestic violence at 19 Wedgewood Road in Portsmouth. According to police reports, an argument at the home escalated between Edward Critten, 41, of 19 Harrison Ave., Rochester, and members of the household.

The disagreement became violent, and as a result, police allege that two children, ages 11 and 9, came to the defense of their mother. Critten — police were unsure last night if he was the biological father of the children — is alleged to have bitten the 11-year-old boy in the chest, causing broken skin, and then allegedly punched the 9-year-old in the area of the chest. Police also said that Critten assaulted a woman at the home and broke a television during the fight.

Critten was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, two counts of simple assault and one count of criminal mischief. The second-degree assault charge stems from his alleged biting of the 11-year-old, and is considered a class B felony. The other charges are considered class A misdemeanors.

Police were notified of the incident when one of the children left the house and ran to a neighbor's house to report it. The 11-year-old was treated for minor injuries at Portsmouth Regional Hospital and released. Critten also displayed minor injuries, and the investigation is continuing.

Critten was held overnight at the Rockingham County Jail in Brentwood, pending arraignment today in Portsmouth District Court.


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