Father accused of punching 6-year-old daughter on public street

Father’s attorney says it didn’t happen

HOUSTON – A Houston father was charged with injury to a child, a third-degree felony, after being accused of stopping his car on a public street to punch his 6-year-old daughter.

Matthew Tenny, 45 was arrested Sunday and released after posting $15,000 bond.

According to the Houston Police Department, Tenny was taking his daughter and her younger brother to a religious service Sunday morning when he stopped his car at the intersection of Allston Street and W. 8th Street in the Heights.

A passing motorist told police that he saw Tenny get out from behind the wheel, open the rear passenger door and punch his daughter at least twice.

Tenny was arrested and brought before a magistrate in probable cause court on Monday.

During the hearing, a prosecutor recounted what that witness told investigators, saying in part, “The defendant open the left back door of the car and started punching a toddler a couple of times in the vehicle. Mr. Moran, this witness, stated that it looked as if Mike Tyson was punching the crap out of.”

According to the police, the girl told them she been hit in her chest and stomach. They found marks on her left arm.

Tenny told the investigating officer that he hit the girl because she’d taken off her seat belt and wouldn’t admit it, officials said.

Tenny was released after posting a $15,000 bond. A protective order was also issued to prevent contact with his daughter.

On Tuesday, Tenny’s attorney, Guy Womack, said that order has been lifted.

Womack said Tenny did not hit his daughter.

He told KPRC 2 that the little girl was having a tantrum and had unbuckled her seat belt when her father stopped the car. Womack said Tenny was leaning into the car to buckle the seat belt when witnesses saw him and misinterpreted what was happening.

Womack disputes investigators’ contention that there were marks on the girl’s body. He said he expects the case will be dismissed.