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      Two-year-old in critical condition, Salina man charged with assault

      Sharif Hamilton

      A two-year-old girl is in critical condition after being assaulted Monday morning at Orchard Estates in the Town of Salina.

      Onondaga County Sheriff's charged Sharif Hamilton, of Salina, with first degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child on Monday.

      Sheriff's detectives say they responded to Orchard Estates this morning to a call that a two-year-old girl was injured. The child lived in an apartment with her mother and Hamilton. At the apartment, detectives questioned Hamilton regarding the injuries the child sustained. Hamilton was arrested, while the child's mother was not charged. The child remains in critical condition at University Hospital.

      Hamilton was arraigned in the Town of Geddes, and lodged in the Justice Center.

      Several neighbors at Orchard Estates said they didn't know much about Sharif Hamilton but they were deeply disturbed by allegations that someone had beaten a defenseless toddler.

      "I could never imagine even hitting my kid with a spanking, so to beat my child would be absolutely ridiculous," said neighbor Tyrinna Wheaton.

      Neighbor Derrick Clark said he was bothered by recent cases of violence against young children here in Central New York and across the U.S.

      "it's been hard. We've got to keep our kids protected. It's crazy," said Clark.