A Florida man was arrested and charged with child abuse after he allegedly beat an 8-year-old boy and threatened to feed him to alligators.
Dereck Dunn, 28, is not the boy’s father, but has children with his mother.
An affidavit shows that the 8-year-old’s mother and grandfather had left the boy and infant sister at home with Dunn while they ran errands.
Dunn then led the boy to a pond behind their home, where he allegedly picked him up and threatened to feed him to alligators, the youngster said.
The boy also said when they re-entered the home, Dunn allegedly hit him in the face and pressed his face into the carpet. The boy was left gasping for air.
The boy, who was scared of Dunn, fled to a closet, where Dunn repeatedly stuck him on the rear with a belt, the affidavit said. Dunn also said he would buy the boy a dress and tiara.
Court documents show that the boy had “patterned injuries to his right cheek/eye area and patterned loop-shaped injuries to his buttocks, arms and legs.”
Dunn denies mashing the boy’s face into the carpet and hitting him with the belt.
He admitted only to accidentally hitting the boy in the face during a game, and to having hit him with a belt days earlier.
The child’s mother, Andrea Pritchard, told officials she’d seen Dunn smack her son on the buttocks with his hand. Pritchard insists Dunn was only kidding when he suggested dressing the boy up like a girl and feeding him to alligators. Dunn also said he wasn’t serious.
A belt found in Dunn’s Kings Colony Court home was confirmed to match welts left on the boy’s body.
Dunn, who described himself as 5-foot-9 and approximately 300 pounds, told detectives he was a “very strong” man.
Dunn remains jailed on $7,500 bond. He’s been issued an order of no contact with the victim. His arraignment is set for Sept. 26.