A Sallisaw man is charged with felony child abuse after it was alleged he beat a child under the age of four with a sandal, after the child accidentally used the bathroom on the floor.
Joseph B. Haynes, 25, was formally charged on July 5 and is now slated for an August 30 felony disposition docket before Associate District Judge Kyle Waters, according to court documents.
Vian Police officer Amber Rigsby reported on the evening of June 24 she received a call from an individual at Gardenwalk Apartments who alleged their roommate’s boyfriend, Haynes, had abused her roommate’s son, who is under the age of four.
The caller told Rigsby they’d heard some noises and that Haynes, who also goes by the name C.J. (Colt Jeremi- ah Watkins, had discovered the child used the bathroom on the floor. The caller said Haynes cleaned the child up and then started to beat the child with a slipper, leaving marks. The caller said when they went to bathe the child, they saw red welts and what appeared to be a bite mark on the child’s body. The reporting party said they took photos of the child’s injuries and contacted law enforcement.
The officer went to the child’s mother’s place of employment to speak with her, where the mother stated Haynes did spank the child, but that was all. Haynes was also reportedly at the mother’s place of employment and both of them told the officer they’d return to the apartment complex when the mother got off work.
The reporting party’s boyfriend told authorities he heard Haynes spanking the child earlier, and then allegedly heard him beating the child with his sandal because he (the child) had accidentally used the bathroom on the floor after Haynes had cleaned the child up prior.
A Department of Human Services worker went to the apartment complex to interview all the individuals living in the apartment, along with the children living in the household. The children were reportedly taken to a local emergency room to be evaluated by medical staff.
Haynes was placed under arrest and transported to the Sequoyah County Detention Center where he was booked in on charges of child abuse and child endangerment. The belt he was wearing was taken into evidence as well, because it was believed it may have been used in the alleged incident.
District Attorney Jack Thorp said felony child abuse is punishable by imprisonment in the Department of Corrections not exceeding life, or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000, or both fine and imprisonment.