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Father Arrested For Alegedly Abusing Son Who Shot Sister with BB Gun

AnthonyWest.jpg
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office
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Anthony West woke up Sunday, November 16 to a scenario that probably felt like a nightmare. His daughter had been shot in the head by his son with a BB gun. The BB pellet had penetrated the girl's skull, and the head wound was pouring out blood.

His son had been playing with the air gun the night before. West told Action News Jax, “I guess my son just grabbed it. They were in here playing and stuff and it was a freak accident.”

Even though he believed that the boy had hurt his sister accidently, West felt that he had to discipline his son.

“I whooped my son and punished my son for shooting my daughter in the head. That's all I did,” he said.

However, according to the arrest report from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, West allegedly beat his son with a belt leaving bruises and welts on his stomach, face, legs and arms. 

West felt that he was doing the right thing by disciplining his son, but Florida Department of Children and Families spokesperson John Harrell disagrees.

“When you have scars or injuries that would legally be considered abuse,” Harrell said.

In regards to parents giving corporal punishment, Harrell said the DCF "would strongly recommend that parents not use things like belts or paddles.”

"If you are using instruments like that, not only is it cruel, but it can also lead to injuries or scars," he elaborated. 

Harrell said things can quickly get out of hand when parents become upset—even parents that think they won’t let it get out of hand—and that can lead to scars or injuries.

"Ultimately, what we would recommend to parents is to find a non violent form of discipline," he said.

West has been released on bond and is expecting to return to court next month.

Ray Hollister can be reached at rhollister@wjct.org, 904-358-6341 or on Twitter at @rayhollister.