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Man Accused of Child Abuse as a Cop Witnesses Him Striking His 14-Year-Old Daughter

| October 4, 2012

James Hartley. (FCSO)

James Hartley, a resident of 25B Whetstone Lane in Palm Coast, is a 44-year-old, 240-pound man. On Wednesday, he was arrested and charged with child abuse and battery after a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy saw him striking his 14-year-old daughter, who then collapsed on the floor of her home.

Late Wednesday night, around 11:30, Stacey Hartley called 911 to report that her estranged husband was banging at the door of the house where her two daughters, 12 and 14, were by themselves. When a deputy arrived at the scene, he began performing a perimeter check around the house and, through a sliding glass door in the rear, saw James Hartley inside on a couch. When a second deputy arrived, the first deputy saw Hartley and one of his daughters standing near the front door, which was ajar. The second deputy at the front door announced himself, only to see the door closed.

Hartley was apparently not aware that the other cop was in back of the house, able to see in. As he described it in a police report, the cop saw the girl walk away from the door, then saw Hartley allegedly strike the girl on the left side of the head. The girl “collapsed to the floor and began screaming,” the report states. The deputy radioed the other deputy about what he’d just seen, and saw Hartley run toward the garage, open the garage door and appear to possibly “attempting to flee the scene.”

A deputy ordered him to the ground and handcuffed him.

The girl later told a deputy that her father had struck her with a “cupped” left hand, though no injuries were observed. The girls’ mother arrived at the scene. She declined to go to a safe house. James Hartley denied having struck his daughter. When asked what the screaming had been about, he described it as “typical teenager stuff.” After the deputy told him that he’d witnessed the entire incident, including Hartlet’s striking the girl, Hartley then said that he had “pushed” her.

His wife, the report states, did not want to pursue charges “but appeared to be extremely fearful of James,” who was then placed under arrest. He posted $3,000 bond and was released.

Stacey Hartley had filed for divorce in March 2011 but dismissed the petition that October.

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6 Responses for “Man Accused of Child Abuse as a Cop Witnesses Him Striking His 14-Year-Old Daughter”

  1. JW says:

    TO the Wife: Please get away from that situation!! Get a restraining order and move away! Your girls do not need to live in an environment like that. There is help and options for you. A lot of folks are willing to help if you ask.

  2. Clint says:

    “50% of all marriages in the America end in divorce.”….Gee, I wonder why ?

  3. GoodFella says:

    No injuries were observed? How can a 240lb man hit a little girl with no injury observed, nothing? No bump, no redness, no swelling? He hit her hard enough to knock her down to the ground. Something seems wrong.

    • PC Aviator says:

      If he hit her in the head, like the article says, then any injury could very wellhave been hidden by her hair or not yet have surfaced due to the short time between the strike and the deputy checking for injury. Victims are asked to take photos of visible injuries in the days after the assault…nothing off with that.

  4. local says:

    Thank you Flagler County Sheriff’s Deputy for being there and doing the right thing!

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