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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If a belt is a "deadly weapon", does Massachusettes require a permit to wear a belt?
What about suspenders?
by the time I was 12, my Dad didn't need a belt anymore for me....
Was Ted Kennedy charged with assault with a deadly Oldsmobile? I think not!
You only need a permit to wear a concealed belt.
A felony? Oh, please.
I could not imagine what things I would have done when I was a boy if not for knowing my father would lay me over his bed and strap my ass with his belt.
Nice to see that Mr. Enloe is taking the matter of his individual rights being eviscerated in such a polite manner.
A belt? Jeez! What pussies we have become. My dad used to use one of those old cloth covered electrical cords on me twice. That kept me staight until I went to college.
There was right and there was wrong and the cord was there to enforce discipline when I did wrong. Just knowing that was enough to keep me from screwing up once I felt it.
I didnt have this kid's surroundings as my parents have been together for nearly 30 years now....
If only Old Joseph Kennedy had use the old belt on Teddy's behind a few times....Maybe Teddy would of turned out better.
They probably would have given my Dad the Death Penalty......I should have been so lucky to get the belt....I got the cat-o-nine-tails....!
Consequences should be outlawed!
If you are found guilty of imposing a consequence for somebodies actions, well then.....then....um...uh.....
What's the statute of limitations on this? My old man and I could be in for some jail time.
This is so effen stupid it makes me wawnt to scream.
Hot Wheels race track. (Once, and that's all it took.)