DEER PARK, TX (Gray News) - A man in Texas is charged with felony injury to a child after police say he slapped a 12-year-old boy for allegedly bullying his stepdaughter and calling her names.
The wife of 37-year-old James Peace, who wanted to remain anonymous, told KTRK her husband’s emotions got the best of him, but he was simply standing up for her 12-year-old daughter.
“I do not agree with what he did. He took it too far; he did,” she said.
Peace’s wife said her daughter was walking home from school when a 12-year-old classmate and his friend began calling her names and throwing objects, including rocks, at her, according to KTRK.
Peace picked up the girl when she called and asked for a ride, but while the two were heading home, police say they drove past the two alleged bullies.
“On the drive home, they happened to see the suspect juvenile walking, and that’s when the stepdad decided to stop and confront the kid,” Police Lt. Chris Brown told KTRK.
Brown says Peace started by shouting at the 12-year-old boy; then he hit him.
"He was slapped across the face with an open hand, had red marks and swelling to his cheek and upper jaw," Brown said.
The victim later told police he was afraid to tell his parents what had happened because Peace threatened him with additional violence, KHOU reports. He eventually told his teacher after revealing he was afraid to go to lunch and see the suspect’s stepdaughter.
Investigators said they have surveillance video of the incident. They also say both Peace and his stepdaughter admitted the man hit the 12-year-old victim.