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Kannapolis man charged with child abuse

Staff report
A Kannapolis man has been charged with child abuse after EMS paramedics found a 12-year-old girl in a home with two drunken men.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office charged Robert Larry Pepper, of 2685 China Grove Road, Kannapolis, with misdemeanor child abuse and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Capt. John Sifford said EMS paramedics responded to the 2695 China Grove Road address to answer a call related to a fall around 1 a.m. Saturday.
Sifford said the paramedics found Tony Lavon Grimes, another resident of the single-wide mobile home, on the floor, apparently passed out.
EMS and deputies found Pepper drinking beer, unstable on his feet and the home “smelled horribly of beer,” according to the report.
Pepper told paramedics he was plastered and needed an ambulance to go to the hospital.
Pepper’s 12-year-old daughter, who was also there, was described as upset and crying.
Deputies contacted the Rowan County Department of Social Services and stood by until a staffer arrived.
Sifford said the parents are divorced and the mother has custody during the week and the father has custody on the weekend.
Sifford said the child told officers that she slept in a recliner during weekend visits.

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