A 45-year-old Elma man was arrested by the State Police today on felony assault and child endangerment charges for allegedly forcing a 15-year-old girl to keep her hands in a bowl of bleach for a long time as a form of punishment. Gary R. Mathews was charged with second-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child and was remanded to the Erie County Holding center.
The girl was taken to Women & Children’s Hospital where she was treated for third-degree burns. The Erie County government’s Child Protection Services unit is working with state police on the case. Officials would not disclose the name of the victim nor her relationship to Mathews.