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Father-Stepson Game of Catch Marred By Backyard Belt Whippings

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By HVnews on June 8, 2012

When it comes to using physical abuse to toughen up your kids, best take the sage advice of Don Draper: “My father beat the hell out of me. All it did was make me fantasize about the day I could murder him.”

Take note, Anthony Sanchez.

Sanchez, an elected member of the Imperial Irrigation District of California’s Imperial Valley (which delivers water and electrical power to communities), was caught on camera by his neighbor allegedly striking a young boy repeatedly with a belt on his backside during a game of catch in the backyard of Sanchez’s Heber home.

Imperial Valley Press identified the boy as Sanchez’s stepson.

Sanchez’s attorney, Ryan Childers, made clear that Sanchez has not been charged with anything, nor are any charges pending, he said. He is cooperating with authorities but at this time there’s no reason for him to turn himself in, he said.

“What’s happening in the context of the video itself is certainly disturbing,” Childers said in response to the video. “We recognize that. But we need to let the Sheriff’s Office have time to fully investigate the incident so all the facts can come to light.”

Sanchez contacted Childers’ office Thursday morning and has since canceled a business trip out of town to cooperate with the investigation, Childers said. His wife and children, including the stepson reportedly in the video, are on a previously planned trip to Alabama, where the wife is from. Sanchez was set to head there as well after a business meeting in Los Angeles, but those plans have been put on hold.

If sheriff’s officials want the child to be brought back to Imperial County, the family will cooperate, but so far there is no indication that that will be necessary, Childers said. He has made contact with the police in Alabama to work with local authorities.

The video was taken by 36-year-old neighbor Oscar Lopez, who said he didn’t start taping right away because he believes in a father’s right to discipline their children. But when “it got out of line,” he began to record, and then as you saw, intervened with some choice words.

“This is not just some drunk down the street,” Lopez told IVP. “This is a guy in leadership here. He is supposed to be representing the people of District 5 … I’m happy that he’s been identified, and maybe they don’t prosecute him. Maybe he’s not found guilty, but at least it got out and somebody knows.”

Sometimes that’s the best outcome for which we can hope. Remember the Texas judge who beat his daughter and was exposed on Reddit and YouTube? At least it got out and somebody now knows.

[via Gawker]

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