DEER PARK, Texas – A man is facing charges after slapping a 12-year-old boy in the face who he says bullied his depressed stepdaughter at school, officials said.
James Peace was arrested and charged with injury to a child under 15 years old, officials said.
According to court documents, the boy was walking home with a friend when a silver, four-door car pulled up next to them. The boy said a man stepped out the vehicle, began yelling at them about picking on his stepdaughter, and got in his face and yelled for him to never talk to his daughter again, according to court documents.
Before leaving, the man slapped the kid with an open palm on his left cheek and threatened that if he told anyone what happened, he would beat him up, according to court documents.
The boy said he was too afraid to tell anyone what happened, so he took a picture of his face on his cellphone. The cellphone photo showed the boy's face to be red with a large swelling handprint on his left cheek, according to court documents.
The next day, the boy was scared and tried to avoid seeing the man's stepdaughter by eating lunch in class; but when the teacher asked him what was wrong, he told her about the incident, according to court records.
When school officials and the parent was notified, police were called to investigate the incident and were able to obtain video of the man slapping the boy, according to court records.
During the investigation, Deer Park police asked Peace if he hit the boy, but he denied the allegations until they told him they caught the assault on surveillance video, according to court documents. Peace admitted to slapping the boy and said his child suffers from depression and that when the boys picked on her, it caused her to have serious psychological harm and he let his emotions get the best of him, according to court documents.
Peace was arrested, but later posted a $15,000 bond.