In the second case of a parent being accused of violence toward his young child in five days in Palm Coast, a 34-year-old K-Section man ended up at the Flagler County jail Sunday afternoon after allegedly grabbing his 13-year-old stepson by the neck and smacking him in the face, because the child had left his lunch clutter on the kitchen table.
It was not Peter Adelstein’s first violent charge: last year he faced an aggravated battery-domestic violence charge after an argument with his 31-year-old common-law wife, who was herself charged with domestic battery in the incident. Both charges were dropped.
The couple have “at least one child in common,” an April 17 police report states. They have been together for four years, sharing a house for three.
Adelstein’s wife was in the Karat Path house when Sunday’s incident unfolded, but she was not the one who called 911: the alleged 13-year-old victim’s 15-year-old sister did. The girl told the dispatcher “that this happens all the time and her mother, Amanda Black, doesn’t do anything about it.”
The boy told a deputy that he was eating lunch at the kitchen table and left trash behind when he was done, prompting Adelstein to tell him to clean up. But Adelstein, according to the boy, also pushed the 13 year old. The boy got up set and told Adelstein, “Don’t touch me.”
“Try me,” Adelstein replied, according to the boy, grabbing him by the neck. The boy then threw a burrito at his stepfather’s face, he said. That’s when Adelstein allegedly struck the boy in the face. The boy had visible red marks on his face and neck, according to the deputy’s report.
Adelstein mostly corroborated the story, telling a deputy that both children are “constantly disrespecting him”—a common refrain in cases involving parents beating up their children. Adelstein noted that after he grabbed the boy by the neck, he turned him around so he’d face him. Black told the deputy that she heard a loud smack, but did not witness the incident. She told the deputy that Adelstein “does not discipline her older children often, but when [Adelstein] does, he has a tendency to be over aggressive with them.”
Adelstein was charged with felony child abuse, a third-degree felony.
Last July, when he also ended up with the felony charge that was dropped four months later, the argument had been between Adelstein and Black. He was supposed to come home with t-shirts. He didn’t. She got upset with him and told him he would not get to eat as a result. When he went to the microwave anyway, Black, according to the arrest report at the time, threw food with a ladle, which he knocked away. She allegedly punched him when, according to her, he’d pushed her after she had gone to spit in the pot of spaghetti to keep him from serving himself from it. They agreed to separate, and she took her children to drop them off at their father in Duval County. Since the deputy could not determine who was the primary aggressor, both were charged.
The Florida Department of Children and Families’ Abuse Reporting Portal is here.