Mayor and Wife Beat Teen Daughter Unconscious

By Johnny Apr18,2024 #Atlantic City #Mayor

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small, Sr., and his wife are both charged with physically and emotionally abusing their teen daughter, officials announced Monday.

Small, a 50-year-old Democrat, and his wife, La’Quetta Small, 47, are charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office said. Marty Small is also charged with third-degree terroristic threats, third-degree aggravated assault and disorderly persons simple assault.

La’Quetta Small — who is the superintendent of the Atlantic City Public School system — is also charged with disorderly persons simple assault.

Investigators said the Smalls physically and emotionally abused their daughter on multiple occasions between December 2023 and January 2024 when she was 15 and 16 years old. During one incident, Small struck his daughter several times in the head with a broom, causing her to lose consciousness, according to investigators. 

During another incident in which they were arguing, Small continuously threatened to hurt his daughter by “earth slamming” her down the stairs, grabbing her head, throwing her to the ground and smacking the weave out of her head, investigators said. During another incident, Small punched his daughter repeatedly in her legs causing bruising, according to officials. 

La’Quetta Small at one point allegedly punched her daughter multiple times on her chest, leaving bruising. During another incident, La’Quetta Small dragged her daughter by her hair and struck her with a belt on her shoulders, leaving marks, investigators said. She also allegedly punched her daughter in the mouth during an argument. 

Reached by text Monday, Mayor Small initially refused to comment on the charges and directed NBC10 to his attorney, Ed Jacobs.

“The charges filed by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office today make no claims of public corruption or misconduct in office or any failure by Mayor Small, to properly discharge his responsibilities as the mayor of Atlantic City,” Jacobs initially told NBC10 on Monday. “On the contrary, they focus only on personal, private family matters.”

La’Quetta Small didn’t immediately comment on the charges.

Mayor Small’s home was searched back on March 28. On April 1, Small, his wife and their daughter attended an Atlantic City news conference in which the mayor said he had “nothing to hide.” He also denied rumors that his daughter was pregnant and that his wife struck her while his son filmed the assault.

Small also discussed the arrest of Atlantic City High School principal Constance Days-Chapman on charges that she did not notify the proper authorities when a student told her that they were being “emotionally and physically abused by the juvenile’s parents.” Small said at the time that Days-Chapman was innocent of the allegations against her.

NBC10 reached out to Days-Chapman for comment. We have not yet heard back from her.

Marty Small continues duties as Atlantic City mayor as attorney says the Smalls are ‘innocent’

In a longer statement released Tuesday, Jacobs reiterated that the charges were part of a private family matter and had nothing to do with misconduct as mayor. Jacobs referenced the April 1 speech attended by Small’s “entire family.”

“We made two points clear about the investigation of the Atlantic County Prosecutor:

“1. It was not about public corruption or misconduct in office, because there is none. Mayor Small’s administration is as clean as the proverbial whistle, top to bottom And

“2. It was a misguided attempt to micro manage very private and personal family matters including challenges facing parents attempting to properly raise a teenage child.”

Jacobs wrote that “Mayor Marty Small remains the Mayor in the City of Atlantic City and will continue to faithfully perform all of his duties as Mayor.”

Jacobs also noted that neither Mayor Small, nor his wife were physically arrested and no bails were set as they were only issued summonses.

“Mayor Small and Superintendent LaQuetta Small are completely innocent of any wrongdoing and will ultimately be vindicated,” Jacobs wrote.

Boyfriend’s video clips led to charges, officials say

NBC10 obtained a criminal complaint that contains more details on the investigation and what led to the charges against Mayor Small and his wife.

During the week of Jan. 22, 2024, mental health training for students was held at Atlantic City High School. At the end of each session, students were provided with “exit tickets” with three faces representing “happy,” “neutral,” and “sad.” Each student was asked to circle one face to represent how they were feeling.

After Small’s daughter was given an exit ticket, she circled the neutral face and then wrote on the back of the ticket, “abuse” and that she would “like a counselor,” according to the criminal complaint.

An employee at Atlantic City High School obtained the teen’s ticket and gave it to one of their mental health trainers. The employee later told detectives he approached the teen around 10 a.m. that day and spoke with her for two to three minutes. The teen told him she had been hit with a broom and passed out, according to the criminal complaint. She also described her father as a “big guy” and said she wanted to continue on with her life, investigators said. The teen also told him she had already spoken with Principal Days-Chapman.

The employee said he and another school employee spoke with Days-Chapman later that day and reported what the teen told him. Days-Chapman told the employee the teen never mentioned the alleged abuse to her but that she would report it to the Department of Child Protection & Permanency (DCP&P), according to the criminal complaint. The principal also insisted she would make the notification to DCP&P when the other employee said that she would do it.

Later that day, the teen told her therapist during their telehealth session that her parents were physically and emotionally abusing her, describing three incidents in December and January, according to the criminal complaint.

The teen told her therapist she had informed the school and the school would be contacting the State to report the alleged abuse, according to the criminal complaint.

Investigators said the teen told her therapist, “I was really stressed, I was crying a lot, I wasn’t mentally stable, I wasn’t comfortable around them, I just didn’t feel safe.”

The therapist then spoke with La’Quetta Small that night, according to the criminal complaint. Small allegedly told the therapist her daughter was experiencing personal issues due to a relationship with a “young man” that she and her husband didn’t approve of, investigators said.

The director of the medical facility then reported the alleged abuse to the NJ Department of Children and Families on Jan. 24, 2024. During a recorded phone conversation, the director told a representative for the department that a member of Atlantic City High School should’ve already notified them and that he was just following up. The department representative said that no one from the school ever notified them however, according to the criminal complaint. The department then notified the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office that same day.

Later that night, a member of DCP&P interviewed Mayor Small, his wife, their daughter and their son. Their daughter and son both denied the abuse allegations while their parents were present, according to the criminal complaint.

The teen told the DCP&P member she had made up the abuse allegations because she was mad at her parents for taking her phone away and because they disapproved of her relationship with her boyfriend, investigators said. She also denied disclosing the alleged abuse to anyone at her high school and claimed the first person she reported it to was her therapist on Jan. 23, according to the criminal complaint.

During another interview with detectives with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office on Jan. 25, the teen once again denied she was abused by her parents and recanted her initial allegations.

On Jan. 26, investigators then met with the boyfriend of Small’s daughter. The boyfriend told investigators he had a good relationship with his girlfriend’s parents until early December when they found out more details about their relationship and took away their daughter’s cellphone, according to the criminal complaint. The teen boy said he then mainly communicated with their daughter through video chat on social media.

The teen said his girlfriend repeatedly described incidents in which she was physically and emotionally abused by her parents. He also provided detectives video clips from his cellphone and iPad showing evidence of the abuse, which included swelling, scratches, bruising and hair loss, investigators said. Investigators also spoke with the teen boy’s mother who confirmed her son had reported the abuse to her, according to the criminal complaint.

Investigators also reviewed medical records confirming Small’s daughter had been admitted to the hospital on Jan. 16, 2024, for a head injury. The medical report stated the teen went to the hospital for a head injury she suffered three days earlier, on Jan. 13. After being admitted to the hospital, the teen told the nurse she had hit her head on a window while playing with her younger brother and passed out. Mayor Small was with her at the time and confirmed that story with the nurse, investigators said. Her diagnosis from the hospital was a head injury and a loss of consciousness.

On Jan. 31, detectives reinterviewed Small’s daughter who once again accused her parents of physically and emotionally abusing her on multiple occasions from December 2023 to January 2024 inside their home, investigators said.

Detectives also spoke with the older cousin of Small’s daughter who works as a secretary at Atlantic City High School. The cousin confirmed there was tension between Small, his wife and their daughter over their disapproval of her boyfriend, investigators said. The cousin also confirmed she had noticed bruises on the teen for the past two months, according to the criminal complaint.

Investigators also interviewed the director of the AtlantiCare Teen Center which provides support services for Atlantic City High School students. The director confirmed that Small’s daughter had reported the abuse to her as well and told her that she had already informed a school employee, according to the criminal complaint. The director told detectives she would’ve reported the alleged abuse to the DCP&P if she hadn’t been told that the school employee already reported it.  

Investigators also obtained an Instagram message between Small’s daughter and a friend in which she accused her father of physical and emotional abuse.

During the search of Small’s home on March 28, detectives obtained a letter which stated in part, “Honestly, I’m going for peace, I keep disappointing you all, I’m just going to go. Must hate me for not being perfect. Getting called dumb, crazy, mental and sick hurts but that’s okay, I guess I’m the biggest disappointment for defending myself.”

The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit investigated the case. If you have any further information, please call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), visiting or texting LOVEIS to 22522.

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