A valley mother faces a felony charge of child abuse, after she is accused of beating her 14-year-old son with a belt and coat hangers, and locking him in the bathroom for up to 3 days.
Trisha Lynn Mastro, 53, who owns homes in both Litchfield Park and Scottsdale, was arrested Wednesday following an investigation into the abuse.
The victim had recently returned home to Arizona after visiting his father in New York. Allegedly, while he was at the Scottsdale home, the teen got into a fight with his mother when he attempted to leave and go to a neighbor’s house to call his dad. During the argument, police reported that Mastro ripped a landline phone out of the wall and then threw it toward her son, breaking the phone.
His mom began to punch him on his arm, leaving visible bruising, according to the police report. The report includes details that the mother then took her leather belt and began striking her son with the metal buckle part of the belt, causing additional bruising. Police say Mastro then lost her grip on the belt and began hitting her son multiple times with a metal or plastic hanger.
The next day, Mastro, her son and her other children were preparing to go to their other home in Litchfield Park, when another argument broke out between the young son and mother. During this argument, police say Mastro used a pair of scissors to stab his suitcase and cut up his baseball cap. According to the police report, she then put her hands around his neck, causing visible injury.
Once the family arrived at their Litchfield Park home, police say the pair began arguing again. This time Mastro locked her son in a bathroom in the garage, causing the boy to miss school. The boy later told detectives he had been previously locked in the bathroom for up to three days.
The following day at school, the boy used his friend’s cell phone to call his dad in New York to inform him what had happened. The father instructed him to go tell a school counselor, which he did. The school called police and child services. After an examination reportedly showed that the boy had multiple injuries, DCS removed him from his mother’s home and he was put in care of another relative.
Officers obtained a search warrant and searched Mastro’s Scottsdale home. They found the phone that hadbeen torn from the wall, a bathroom with a lock on the outside of the door, and a fake camera above the bathroom door. They said they also found a brown leather belt, a baseball cap that had been cut in half, and a suitcase that had been cut open. Mastro told police scissors had been used to try to open the suitcase zipper.
When she was questioned about her son’s injuries, detectives say Mastro denied ever harming or physically touching the boy, and said that “she did not know how the injuries came to be.”
Mastro was released on her own recognizance. Her next court date is Sept. 9.