Man Arrested For Slapping 12-Year-Old Boy Who Was Bullying His Stepdaughter
James Peace told authorities that the 12-year-old’s taunts had caused his stepdaughter "serious psychological harm."
DEER PARK, TX — A Texas man has been arrested after slapping a 12-year-old boy, who was allegedly bulling his stepdaughter, in the face.
Police say that James Peace, 37, had just picked up his stepdaughter when he saw the boy who had insulted her walking home with a friend – and decided to confront him.
Peace's wife told KTRK that her daughter had told her that the boy and his friend were bullying her after school by “saying that her body was ugly, said that she was a transvestite.” She added that the boys allegedly “started throwing ice cream at her and then they picked up the rocks.”
Peace's stepdaughter called her parents for a ride home, and on the ride home they happened to see the boy and his friend walking — which led to Peace taking matters into his own hands.
Peace got out of his vehicle and began shouting at the boy before striking him with an open palm on the side of the face, according to ABC News. He then got back into his vehicle and drove away, according to the affidavit.
The stepdaughter told police she did see her stepfather slap the boy in the face but "didn't think it was that hard of a strike." She confirmed that the boy had been "picking on her at school and calling her names and that she told her parents about it.”
Peace told authorities that the 12-year-old’s taunts had caused his stepdaughter "serious psychological harm," an officer with the Deer Park Police Department stated in the probable cause affidavit.
He initially denied that the incident took place. When police questioned him, detectives informed him that a surveillance camera from a house nearby meant there was a video recording of the encounter. Peace then admitted to officers that he'd “let his emotions get the best of him,” according to the affidavit. He has been charged with felony injury to a child.
The boy told police he did not know the adult who slapped him, but recognized his classmate in the car. The boy said Peace told him and his friends "he will beat them up, too" if he told anyone — and the boy stated that he was afraid that Peace might follow up on his alleged threat, according to the affidavit.
The victim took a photo of himself immediately after the incident. According to the affidavit, the photo shows "an obvious large handprint on the left side of his face that was extremely red and appeared to be swelling.”
The boy told his teacher about the incident the next day, and asked her if he could eat lunch with her instead of going to the cafeteria, as he wanted to avoid Peace's stepdaughter. The teacher notified school officials and the boy’s mother right away. Police were contacted as well.
Peace's wife told KTRK that her husband's emotions had gotten the better of him and she believed that he “took it too far” on the day of the incident.
Read more: ABC News