A 6-year-old boy weighing only 24 pounds was hospitalized pTC yesterday, and his grandmother and her boyfriend were arrested and charged with child abuse, city police said.
The child, Maurice Royster, who will turn 7 next month, was listed in fair condition early today at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Police said the child was found in a first-floor room but told them he also had been locked in the basement of his home, a rowhouse in the 1500 block of N. Payson St., for an unknown amount of time.
Charged with child abuse were Evonne Johnson, 47, and James Carroll, 55, who lived in the house. Mr. Carroll was held overnight at the Western District police station lockup, while the grandmother was at the Central District women's detention center -- both awaiting bail hearings today.
Police Lt. James Rainey said the arrests were prompted by the account of two teen-age girls, apparently not related to the boy, who visited the Western District station about 2 p.m. yesterday to say that he was being starved inside the house on Payson Street.
Officer Eric Snair, who was sent there to investigate, reported finding young Maurice in a room, appearing malnourished and his growth stunted. He also reported bruises on the child's buttocks and legs.
Lieutenant Rainey said Officer Snair told him he asked the child about the apparent injuries and was told, "My grandmother and her boyfriend did this to me." The officer also said the child told him he spent most of his time locked in the basement of the house, the lieutenant added.
Finding no adult in the house, the officer took the child to a fast-food restaurant for a meal before taking him back to the police station.
Police returned to the house on North Payson Street later in the day and arrested the two adults. Lieutenant Rainey said police were searching for the child's parents.