Uncle arrested in beating of his niece and nephew

COVINGTON -- The uncle of two young children has been arrested after he allegedly beat them, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

Frank Charles Amato, 50, of 35 Mill Chase, Covington, was charged with two counts of cruelty to children and two counts of battery/simple battery under the Family Violence Act in connection with the incident.

"The grandmother reported that her grandchildren had been beaten," said NCSO Public Information Officer Cpl. Anthony Washington, adding that the children involved were an 8-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy.

Washington said the uncle had custody of the children as their father is incarcerated and the whereabouts of their mother is unknown. The grandmother who reported the incident has custody of three other grandchildren.

The alleged beating occurred Sunday and was reported to the NCSO on Monday when marks on the children were still visible to investigators.

"They were bruised enough so that when DFACS (Department of Family and Children Services) responded to the scene, they felt there was justification for us along with DFACS to get involved," Washington said.

According to Washington, the beatings occurred because "he was upset that the kids lied to him."

The children were released to the custody of their grandmother.