I've heard of a lot of out-of-line behaviors that have earned kids a whupping, but not playing catch the right way is a first.
California dad Anthony Sanchez has been arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse after a neighbor posted a video of him allegedly whipping his stepson on YouTube.
It all began one Sunday afternoon when Oscar Lopez looked out his window to see Sanchez -- an elected water agency director -- hitting his son with a belt while they tossed the ball around in the backyard. "As it went on, I realized I wasn't just looking at a parent disciplining a child," Sanchez told NBC News. That's when he began taping the incident and further got involved by yelling out the window.
"That's enough ****stick, that's enough," he shouted.
"Are you having a problem with the way I'm raising my son?" Sanchez responded.
"I'm having a f****** problem with you for beating the s*** out of him because he won't catch the damn ball," yelled back Lopez.
"Do you know my son?" asked Sanchez.
"I don't know your son but I'm watching you. I'm a f****** father too," said Lopez, who was so outraged over the way the kid was being treated, he uploaded the video to the web and it caught the attention of sheriff's department, which began an investigation. Sanchez eventually turned himself in, was released on $100,000 bail, and resigned from his job.
The incident is heartbreaking to watch. The video clearly shows that boy being hit repeatedly between attempts to catch a ball. I thought, "There is no excuse for this." I was furious. However those feelings ebbed a bit when I saw the boy's maternal grandfather, Terry Grammer, being interviewed on the Today show.
He defended Sanchez's actions. "First of all, it wasn't about playing catch," he said. "People who know the history ... Anthony is in a difficult position ... he is trying to be a stepfather for a child that has some behavioral issues."
He went on to explain that the boy has ADHD, which causes severe behavioral problems, and that they have tried time-outs and other methods of discipline, but spanking has been the only thing that has worked. Apparently that particularly day, the child was misbehaving, mouthing off, and saying mean things, episodes the family dubs as "bad days."
Now, I personally do not believe in spanking. And I don't agree with what Sanchez did, but in California, spanking your child is not against the law. Yes, the video is disturbing, but this parent may have been within his rights. So far, no formal charges have been filed. Isn't the method of discipline a personal family choice? We don't live in that house. We have no idea what they endure on a day to day basis. Are we rushing to judge?
Take a look at video of the incident here:
Do you think Sanchez was within his rights to discipline his son?