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Wadena man faces malicious child punishment charge

A Wadena man faces a felony count of malicious punishment of a child as well as gross misdemeanor assault after a July 12 incident.

Court documents said on July 16, Wadena County authorities and human service workers spoke with a woman regarding an assault on her child. She said that on July 12, her three young children had spent the day with Scott David Reger, 34, of Wadena. Upon picking the children up, they made accusations that Reger spanked one of them and said he had called the doctor to "get [their] throat cut out." The child was in fact scheduled to have a surgical procedure done on their throat in the near future.

The two other children informed her that Reger then put a blanket around the alleged victim and duct taped it around the victim's neck. The woman said Reger admitted he had done so, according to court records. After speaking with Reger, she contacted human services and filed for an Order for Protection. She also noticed marks on the alleged victim's face and neck, which she took pictures of.

Statements from the juvenile witnesses and alleged victim were taken July 17 by police. According to court documents, Reger was read his rights and interviewed July 18.

Reger said the incident was playful in nature, adding that when the children were at his home, they cried for extended periods of time because they missed their mother, which made him mad.

In the statement given by the other children present, they said Reger was mad when the duct tape was wrapped around the child's throat, court records said.

Reger said the child was pinching, hitting and kicking, so he wrapped him in a blanket to calm them down, and began to tickle the child.

Reger has a prior qualified domestic violence-related conviction in Wadena County from March 2011. His first court appearance is set for Sept. 10.