NEWPORT NEWS -A man is charged with abuse for the way he punished his five-year old son who had gotten lost, police say.

27-year-old Anthony Pierre hit the boy shortly after he was returned home Monday, according to police.

A neighbor found the youngster, who had been reported missing from his home on 16th Street and called the police. An officer arrived and took him home.

That evening, police returned to the home after a relative called to say the boy had been struck several times by his father, said spokesman Lou Thurston.

'The child told the officer that his father had whipped him because he had been with police earlier in the afternoon,' Thurston said.

Investigators reported seeing red marks on the boy's body and large welts on his stomach and upper back, Thurston explained.

Pierre is charged with felony child abuse and misdemeanor assault on a family member.

The child didn't require medical attention.

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