An Elk Creek man is charged with felony counts of child abuse that authorities say went beyond normal discipline.
Nathan F. Box, 34, is charged with abuse or neglect of a child and endangering the welfare of a child, creating substantial risk, following a multi-agency.
Faculty and staff said they were alarmed about a 7-year-old boy making statements about killing himself in a bathroom. Box was notified about the situation at the Houston School District and stated the boy would be in trouble upon arrival home and the child might not return to school after the disciplining.
The next day school staff reported excessive bruising on his bottom. The boy told representatives of the agencies that he had been spanked with a belt too many times to count and across the palms of his hands four or five times.
Investigators determined the force was excessive and rose to the level of child abuse, according to a report. Called to the school district grounds, Box was arrested and taken to the Texas County Jail and held on $200,000 bond.
According to a report, Box admitted to spanking the boy with a belt 20 times – 16 times on his bottom and four across his hands. Additionally, 20 quarter-mile laps were performed. The child, who alleged previous physical abuse, has relocated out of the home.