Father Faces Child Abuse Charge Over 12-Year-Old Son’s Black Eye and Broom Violence
FlaglerLive | May 20, 2015
Angel Pablo Otero Diaz, a 34-year-old resident of Hibiscus Avenue in Bunnell, was jailed Tuesday on a charge of child abuse after facing accusations that he smacked his 12-year-old son and struck him in the head with a plastic broom. The boy ended up with a black eye.
The incident took place on May 16. The boy, who his parents say have been disciplinary issues, told a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy that his mother had taken him to his father’s house around noon after Saturday school (his mother would later say that he’d been taken there to be disciplined), but the boy refused to go in the house. The boy claims his father then struck him in the back of the head and told him again to get in the house. His son again refused. Diaz then allegedly attempted to punch him in the face, but father and son ended up wrestling on the ground until Diaz got on top of the boy–according to the boy’s account–and pin his arms to the ground, then hitting him repeatedly.
A third individual who appears from the arrest report to have been the boy’s mother–the identity of the person is redacted, but the boy’s mother had driven him over to Diaz’s–managed to pull Diaz off the 12 year old. That’s when Diaz, according to his arrest report, “grabbed a plastic broom that was leaning against the house and swung it” at his son, “hitting him in the back of the head.”
Either the boy or his father then grabbed a collapsible infant stroller and raised it as if he was going to strike the other with it, but the third individual stepped in, and told the boy to get back in the car.
The confrontation continued, with the boy allegedly provoking his father from inside the car and Diaz then reaching in through the window, preventing it from going up–even as the boy’s mother was trying to close it–and allegedly striking the left side of the boy’s face. He then walked back into the house.
The mother of the child told police that because of recent disciplinary issues, she’d been soliciting Diaz’s help, and had not called police for fear of, as she put it to police, losing an ally in helping control her son’s behavioral issues. She acknowledged to police, however, that Diaz “did cross the line by punching her son in the face and hitting him with the broom,” Diaz’s arrest report states.
The Department of Children and Families had been at the scene before police arrived at about 5:20 Tuesday afternoon. It was DCF that called police. A DCF investigator told a deputy that she had received two calls about the alleged abuse.
Much of Diaz’s account of the incident is redacted, though he told a deputy that a neighbor had witnessed the incident and could corroborate his version of events. The neighbor told police that he only saw Diaz on top of the boy, restraining him, and that he–the neighbor–left after that and did not see anything.
Diaz posted bail on $2,500 bond and was released.