A Harker Heights man was indicted May 20 by the Bell County grand jury after allegedly striking a small child in the face.
Felix Echevarria Negron, 33, now faces a charge of reckless injury to a child with bodily injury after police responded to a local hospital to find a child with blood coming from his left ear and a large reddened handprint on the side of his face. In the trade, we call this prima-facie evidence.
According to an arrest affidavit, when questioned, Negron told police he was disciplining the child and “popped him on the side of the head to get his attention.”
Medical professionals at the hospital told police the child suffered a perforated eardrum.
Paul McWilliams, Bell County first assistant district attorney, said there is an exception (in Texas law) about reasonable discipline, but Negron’s discipline crossed the line. McWilliams said “slapping a 2-year old hard enough to break an eardrum, that’s beyond the pale.”
Indeed it is! What could a 2-year-old child do to warrant an assault, the result of which may well be lifetime auditory complications.
Note to parents of toddlers. They’re not called the “terrible twos” for nothing. Two-year-olds have their own agenda and need to be given space to learn. Yes, they also need to master the beginning elements of discipline and they must also learn that disobedience of “no” has consequences. The consequences however, can never, repeat, never, include bodily injury of any kind. Striking a child on the head, or anywhere on the upper body for that matter, is never acceptable discipline and is assaultive behavior.
My mother was a subscriber to the theory that a person who will not hear is destined to feel. I felt, frequently!
While I do not condone physical assault, I am a proponent of the administration of a well-deserved and appropriately reserved swat on the posterior portion of the anatomy of a wayward child. If one looks closely, one will note that the curvature of the palm of the hand and that of the rear end are a perfect match. Use with restraint, and never, never, never in anger!
Heights police investigated a range of crimes this week in addition to the expected vehicular moving violations.
An assault by strangulation was reported May 25, in the 100 block of Bybee Court.
A narcotics investigation was reported in the 600 block of Yucca Circle.
Another narcotics investigation was reported in the 600 block of Indian Trail Drive.
An aggravated assault was reported May 20, in the 600 block of Indian Train Drive.
A burglary of a habitation, forced entry was reported May 21, in the 900 block of Ramblewood Drive.
A burglary of a habitation was reported May 20, in the 1800 block of Pontotoc Trace.
A forgery was reported May 20, in the 200 block of east Central Texas Expressway.
Another forgery was reported May 20, in the 2300 block of Indian Trail Drive.
Evading arrest or detention was reported May 20, in the 2000 block of Heights Drive. An arrest was made. You may be capable of outrunning the police vehicle, but you cannot outrun their radio or computer database. Evading not only endangers the fool driving the evading vehicle, but also endangers the population at large. You will be caught.
A disorderly conduct incident was reported May 22, in the 1000 block of East Knight’s Way. Fights like this one occur when either or both participants allow emotions to override judgment and good sense.
A terroristic threat was reported May 21, in the 2300 block of Indian Trail. A terroristic threat does not mean the threat was relayed by a terrorist as we’ve come to know them, but a threat made by one citizen against another with the intent to frighten them or place them in fear of bodily injury.
A misdemeanor theft, shoplifting was reported May 20, in the 2000 block of Heights Drive.
Public lewdness was reported May 25, in the 2000 block of Heights Drive.
Folks, cameras are installed. Big brother is watching!
John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement, with a decade in city and county law enforcement and 20 years with state police.