Mayor beat teen daughter unconscious with broom and punched her, NJ officials say

UPDATE: Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr.’s attorney Ed Jacobs responded to the abuse accusations against his client and his wife, La’Quetta Small, in a news release he provided to McClatchy News on April 16. Small remains mayor, Jacobs said. He contended the Smalls are innocent.

According to Jacobs, the criminal complaints filed by the Atlantic County prosecutor on April 15 “focus exclusively on private family matters.” He said the complaints are “basically attempting to second guess parental decisions of Mayor Small and his wife” and “were issued on summonses; that means no arrests were made and no bails were set.”

“He and his wife LaQuetta and their two children remain a close and loving and intact family,” Jacobs said. He added that Small “and superintendent LaQuetta Small are completely innocent of any wrongdoing and will ultimately be vindicated.”

The original story is below.

The mayor of Atlantic City, New Jersey, is accused of beating and emotionally abusing his teenage daughter on multiple occasions, according to officials who said he also made “terroristic threats” toward her.

Mayor Marty Small Sr.’s wife La’Quetta Small, the city’s school district superintendent, is also accused of abuse. They’re both facing charges stemming from incidents involving their daughter throughout December and January, when she was 15 and 16, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office announced in an April 15 news release.

Small’s attorney, Ed Jacobs, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News on April 15. Information regarding his wife’s legal representation wasn’t immediately available.

During one incident of physical abuse, Small repeatedly hit his teenage daughter in the head with a broom, and she lost consciousness, the prosecutor’s office said. In another incident, he’s accused of punching her legs, leaving bruises.

In an argument with his daughter, Small also made violent threats, according to the prosecutor’s office.

He “continuously threatened to hurt her by ‘earth slamming’ her down the stairs, grabbing her head and throwing her to the ground, and smacking the weave out of her head,” the news release said.

La’Quetta Small is accused of physically abusing her daughter, leaving visible injuries, on three separate occasions, according to the prosecutor’s office.

She repeatedly punched her daughter in the chest, causing bruises, “dragged her daughter by her hair then struck her with a belt on her shoulders leaving marks,” and also punched the teen in the mouth, the prosecutor’s office said.

Atlantic City Public Schools, the district La’Quetta Small oversees as superintendent, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News on April 15.

Atlantic City spokesman Andrew Kramer declined to provide a comment to McClatchy News.

Small and his wife are both charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, according to the release.

Small is separately charged with third-degree terroristic threats, third-degree aggravated assault and disorderly persons simple assault, the prosecutor’s office said. La’Quetta Small is separately charged with three counts of disorderly persons simple assault, according to officials.

Mayor previously denied ‘rumors’ of abuse

The charges against Small and his wife come after authorities executed search warrants at their residence on March 28, the Press of Atlantic City reported. At the time, Jacobs declined to comment on why authorities were at the home, according to the newspaper.

At an April 1 news conference, Small commented on “rumors” about the search, which he said was personal and related to his family, WPVI-TV reported.

He denied being involved in corruption, and shot down rumors that his daughter was pregnant and that he and his wife beat her, according to the TV station.

“The other rumor is, that they said came from an Atlantic City police officer, that said my daughter got knocked up by a drug dealer in Stanley Holmes village, that my wife beat the bleep out of her while my son recorded the whole thing, and I just stood there. False,” Smalls said, WPVI-TV reported.

“The most egregious rumor today is that my daughter was pregnant with twins. And I beat the (expletive) out of her so bad that I killed the babies. And I’m going to be charged with double, double murder,” he added. “And the other one, during the raid, that they were looking for evidence of a miscarriage in my home.”

The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit investigated Small and his wife in connection with their daughter, according to the office’s release.

“The charges were placed on summonses for both defendants,” the office said.

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