Palm Coast authorities have arrested a string of parents this month on child abuse charges: a mother for Tasing her 15-year-old son, the 30-year-old guardian of a 15-year-old girl for allegedly raping her over several years, and the 38-year-old father of a 14-year-old girl for allegedly torturing her. On Wednesday, Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies arrested the father of a 16-year-old boy who, using his computer, captured video of his apparently drunk father abusing him verbally and physically, though the man says his son had insulted him.
Anthony Schneider, 42, of Royal Leaf Lane in Palm Coast, was jailed on a charge of felony child abuse and ordered to have no contact with his child and to submit to a pre-trial supervision order from the court. His arraignment is scheduled for March 30 before Circuit Judge J. David Walsh.
The 16-year-old was sitting at the end of his driveway, visibly upset and shaking, when a sheriff’s deputy arrived at the scene mid-afternoon Wednesday. The boy told the deputy that when he came home from school, he found Schneider, his father, passed out on his (the boy’s) bedroom floor. He asked his father why he was passed out. Schneider, according to the boy, replied something to the effect of “I have the flu” and began to gag. His son asked him to “please get out of his room,” according to the police report, “because he did not want to clean up” after his father.
Schneider at that point “became verbally and physically abusive,” according to the report, telling his son–in the son’s recollection–“let’s go outside
and I will beat your ass,” and “I will beat the breaks off of you boy.” The boy told his father that he would defend himself from physical contact
that he does not deserve, but that the confrontation became hostile when his father slapped him in the back of the neck, and calling him “soft” and a “big girl.” When the boy attempted to leave the house, Schneider followed him down the street “and would not leave him alone, trying to instigate a fight,” the report states.
The boy recorded the confrontation on his Apple Notebook (the Flagler school district has distributed free notebooks to all district high school students). “It is very clear in the video that Anthony is verbally and physically abusive towards [the boy] without merit,” the deputy reported in the arrest affidavit. “Anthony is antagonizing [his son] throughout the video by poking him in the head, pushing him and at one point slapping in the back of the head. During the video you can’t see the slap, but you can clearly hear a smack on the video and reaction to the slap. Throughout the video you can see place his arms and hands in a defensive posture, because he is clearly afraid of the physical abuse his father is threatening toward him. In the video you can also see [the 16 year old] clearly afraid and trying to avoid confrontation with his father.”
When the deputy spoke with Schneider, he noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from him, saw his “bloodshot and glassy eyes and his speech was thick tongued and slurred.”
Schneider said he was in a bedroom when his son told him “fuck you,” prompting him to smack the boy in back of the head because he was being disrespectful. “He comes along and goes as he pleases and he never calls him,” the father told the deputy of his son, adding, “as a grown man if somebody talks to you like that, you handle it.”
The deputy also spoke with the boy’s stepmother, saying that the boy came home from school at about 2:30 p.m., heard him ask his father to get up, heard Schnider say he was “going to puke,” and then heard the next statement from the boy: “Why did you hit me?” She said she could not handle the fighting anymore, that Schneider would not leave the boy alone or let him walk away, but rather threatening the boy that he was going to hurt him. Schneider, she told the cop, was “extremely intoxicated” from a “severe drinking problem,” having started to drink that morning at 6:30 a.m.
The Department of Children and Families was contacted after Schneider was arrested and transported to the Flagler County jail, from where he has since been released. The jail log online shows no bond.