Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 12:00 am
By Dan O’Brien / The Daily Item
SWAMPSCOTT – A Swampscott man was arraigned Monday on allegations he locked his daughter in a closet, strangled her and punched her on numerous occasions over the past few months.
James Dolan, 36, of 3 Beach Ave., was arrested Friday and charged with child endangerment and domestic assault and battery.
Lynn District Court Judge Albert Conlon ordered Dolan held without bail pending a Thursday dangerousness hearing.
Police say the abuse allegedly escalated in September when Dolan lost his right eye during an accident at his workplace, causing him to lose his job.
His wife, who police say was verbally abused, also lost her job in the past year.
Authorities learned of the alleged abuse on Friday when Dolan’s wife and daughter reported it to personnel at the Swampscott Middle School, where the girl is a student.
The wife told police Dolan has been taking medication for depression and sometimes walks along the train tracks near their home when he gets upset.
According to the daughter, Dolan took out his anger on her numerous times, including last week.
On Tuesday, March 10, Dolan allegedly slammed his daughter’s head into the wall and punched her numerous times in the ribs.
He also twisted her wrist bad enough that doctors at Salem Hospital provided her with an arm sling, according to a police report.
The girl was babysitting at the time and Dolan became upset when she ordered the kids to have a “time out,” police said.
Perhaps the most bizarre allegation is that Dolan allegedly locked his daughter in a closet for over a half hour on at least one occasion.
Photos of the closet, which were released in court documents, show a dingy space no more than three feet wide. The girl referred to the space as the “glass room.”
The victim says her father became upset after she called her friend on the phone with a question about homework.
The mother told police she had no idea Dolan had locked their daughter in a closet until last week.
Police say Dolan allegedly put his daughter in a choke hold on another occasion and that the mother did know about it.
She allegedly confronted Dolan, who said, “I didn’t choke her. I just put my arm around her throat so she couldn’t breathe,” according to a police report.
Police interviewed a school nurse who said she had growing concerns about the victim because she has been to the nurse’s officer numerous times in recent weeks and at one point had a “slight” black eye.
Dolan began crying when he was placed under arrest at about 3:30 p.m. Friday, police said. At the time, he was placed under a suicide watch.