Skip to comments.Plymouth father is arrested for using belt on son, 12
Posted on 04/30/2005 6:19:34 AM PDT by holymoly
PLYMOUTH - A father who used a belt to spank his 12-year-old son over forgotten homework is facing a felony assault charge and an investigation by the state Department of Social Services.
Charles S. Enloe, 42, of 4 Cortelli Court, Plymouth, hit his son on the buttocks three times with a belt after the boy forgot his homework assignment at school, police said.
He was charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
Enloe said he was surprised at his arrest, but that he doesn't blame police for doing their job.
I never knew it would be considered assault with a deadly weapon,'' Enloe said. And it shouldn't be. It shouldn't be a crime if it's discipline. I know there are parents out there that abuse their children, but I'm definitely not one of them. But police have to follow the letter of the law. My father was a police officer. I'm not angry at them, and I don't blame my son.''
Enloe said he hopes the courts will dismiss the charge after reviewing the facts. I have no previous record,'' he said.
He said his son is still living with him despite the incident. He and the boy's mother are divorced, according to the police.
The mother obtained a restraining order against Enloe on her son's behalf, but the order was temporary and has expired, he said.
The incident got blown out of proportion,'' Enloe said.
Police Capt. Michael Botieri said officers have more leeway about arresting a parent for domestic violence when an open hand is used for spanking.
When a parent uses an instrument to discipline, it makes it more difficult for us,'' Botieri said. The belt pushed this over the edge.''
The incident happened at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, and left no marks or bruises, according to police.
The Department of Social Services is investigating the complaint after its Cape Cod area office received a report of suspected abuse on Friday. DSS spokeswoman Denise Monteiro said the allegation was made by a person or agency required by law to report any suspected incident of child abuse. She would not identify the person.
Police, teachers, health care workers and clergy are all required to report cases of suspected abuse in Massachusetts.
Monteiro said the case is not considered an emergency and said the DSS has up to 10 days to investigate the report. Monteiro said the department usually interviews family members, the child's pediatrician, school officials, neighbors and others. The allegations have to be met with evidence,'' she said.
The boy told police his father hit him with the belt for forgetting his homework, and said he would be hit six times wearing just his underwear if he forgot his homework again, police said.
Fearing the promised punishment, the boy called his mother Wednesday when he forgot his homework a second time, police said.
The boy and his mother, Diana Dematteo of Sandwich, reported the incident to police Wednesday.
Enloe told police he used the belt to lightly'' strike the boy three times on the bottom for disciplinary reasons.
His son had improved academically since coming to live with him in March and he acted out of love,'' the police report quotes Enloe as saying.
Enloe was arrested and charged at the station.
Enloe pleaded innocent Thursday to the charge and was released on his promise to return to court on June 1.
Monteiro, the DSS spokeswoman, said that under the Massachusetts corporal punishment law, it is not illegal for a guardian to strike a child physically or spank a child so long as the child isn't injured or left with a bruise, bumps, cuts and you would also consider the frequency of the punishment.''
In 1997, the Rev. Donald Cobble of Woburn found himself thrust into the national spotlight when his then 9-year-old son, Judah, asked a teacher not to send a note home about his school behavior because he feared that Cobble would spank him with a belt, as he had done before.
The teacher contacted social service workers, who found that this form of discipline posed a substantial risk of injury.'' But two years and $62,000 in legal fees later, Cobble's name was removed from the state registry of child abusers after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court exonerated him, saying that Judah suffered only temporary marks as a result of the spanking. The case was closed.
How far should a parent be able to go when disciplining a child?
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Once! Me and brothers were beat regularly with the race track. :-) Thanks MOM!
my mom would say "I brought you into this world, I can sure as hell take you out of it"....
Not to worry, he resumed his belt'n before the the night was through.
I got it with a gnarly peach tree switch, leaving welts. I deserved it.
Yep, wooden spoon or wooden paintstick (yyy-ouch!!) was the mid-grade punishment (above hand-to-backside, but below the 'capital punishment' of the belt, administered by Dad....but only meritted once or twice).
It sounds like you had good parents.
We have a 18" fiberglass rod. Very rarely used but the scare value works almost every time.
I suspect my kids will never be handcuffed for throwing a tantrum.
Sometimmes we co camping with some other families. When laying out the rules (fire pit, axes etc.)and boundaries, I always say "And for my kids, if any other adults catch you breaking these rules, they have my permission to yell at you. The other parents always chime in "me too."
I too, burned it when I was about 12 yrs. old..
My father recounted tales of freinds that were actually horse-whipped when they mis-behaved..
( he also pointed out that it was considered "extreme" punishment even for his time, but not for His Father's time..)
"Nice to see that Mr. Enloe is taking the matter of his individual rights being eviscerated in such a polite manner."
Isn't it? Seriously, he should shut up and get a lawyer.
We "older" folks do long fervently for the good ole days when Dad was Father and Mom was Mother. Father was loved but more feared. Mother was dispenser of good behavior and manners. Many times I was spanked with the flat brush or switch and then whipped with the belt when Father came home. I am thankful to both my parents for the "right" thinking and discipline that I enjoy today. Poor Father would certainly be under the jail today. He left bruises. I wish he was alive so I could thank him again.
Most kids now days would greatly benefit from a occasional swat with
the "Board of Education"
Thank you for saying what I wanted to say. I shy away from starting an argument, but you are right that boys at that age are the very ones who need the capital punishment the most. The Marine Corps is a prime example of what strict discipline can do for a young man. The lack of discipline is what is wrong with the young males in our society. We've allowed a couple of generations of males to go "uncivilized" and we are reaping the results.
There is a point where boys are expected to grow into reasonable men. Twelve years old is not four years old. It's time to respect their intelligence and teach them how to be men of self-restraint who don't need their butts whupped. Twelve years old is plenty old enough for a boy to learn the expectations involved in becoming a man...and men don't need spankings.
We have lowered the expectations of boys to the point of madness. Young men need direction and training for their future, but they'd be better off learning self-discipline from within instead of consequences from without. I've noticed that the school of hard knocks is full of hard heads.
I went to a Catholic grade school, and most of my Nuns were Marines, at heart. Only those who were on a death wish pushed them.
My 5th grade Nun, who was about 70 -and had served as a Missionary in Bolivia way back when- was nobody to mess with even at her advanced age.
She was wont to walking between desk rows when teaching. One day as she was wending her way around the corner of the final row, a classmate tugged on her veil. She turned around and slapped him, across the face, about 4 times. His face was so red, and I distinctly remember his ears (they stuck out a bit) flapping about during the smackdown.
We had little sympathy for him, because the unwritten rule was: you may not touch the person of a Nun. We were scared by the incident, but we knew he got what was coming to him.
There were excesses, but on balance those times were preferable, because they induced fear and respect for authority, and as a consequence produced better citizens.
When the education and formation formula begins with the self-esteem prescription, you're bound to produce narcissits and pansies.
I can see why this kid called his Mom, but his Mom should have handled the situation differently, if in fact, this was just discipline.
The bigger problem of course for this kid, is he was born to a couple who decided divorce was the best option. This kid doesn't win either way.
Shame! Shame on you Mr. Policeman - in addition to Protect and Serve - you are supposed to use some COMMON SENSE.
Utter crap. This father was doing his duty.
Had my father not put the fear of the light into me at an early age I could have grown up to be the worst kind of most dangerous scum.
Here's another funny one, Hank.
Raising three boys is not an easy task. Boys will be boys. Anyway, my three boys back-talked their Mom and I told them to go out into the woods and find a stick so that I could swat them on the butt with it.
About a half hour later (giving Dad enough time to hopefully cool down, of course) we watched them coming down the trail dragging a 15' tree limb about 6" in diameter.
I couldn't keep a straight face when they presented it to me and announced that they were ready to accept their punishment. His Mom and I figured that the effort and time it took them to haul in this "timber" was sufficient payment for their disrespect. We all started laughing and had a long family talk.
They never smart-mouthed their Mom again, plus we ended up with some firewood.
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