TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A Tallahassee man has been arrested for aggravated child abuse after he beat a 7-year-old boy with an extension cord, sending the child to the hospital with severe gashes on his body.
Darrin Johnson has been charged with aggravated child abuse after a 7-year-old boy was admitted into the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital on Monday.
According to court documents, the child had "severe lacerations" to his arms and legs. Documents say the child's mother told Tallahassee Police officers on scene that Johnson had "spanked" the child.
That day, the child's mother said she received a call from Johnson that the 7-year-old had gotten a referral at school for punching a female child. During their conversation, Johnson told the child's mother that he "spanked" the child as punishment.
When the mother arrived home from work, she told officers that she immediately noticed that cuts on her child's arms and took him to get medical care. On their way to urgent care, the child told his mother that Johnson had "spanked him" with an extension cord. Documents say the injuries on the child consisted of deep cuts to his arm and both of his legs, as well as small cuts on his hands.
"It was clear the lacerations were bleeding significantly and severe bruising was visible," investigators wrote. "... All of these injuries appeared to be consistent with being hit by an extension cord."
After developing probable cause to charge Johnson, TPD officers went to a home on Old Bainbridge Road in an attempt to find and arrest him. When officers searched the apartment, Johnson was found hiding in a shower behind the curtain.
During an interview, documents say Johnson expressed that he wanted to "prevent [the child] from being a statistic," and admitted that he disciplined the child by beating him, saying that he "took it too far." He told officers that he shows the child "tough love" all the the time. Johnson stated that the child had been getting into trouble at school lately and had just gotten in trouble for hitting another student the week prior.
Johnson told investigators that he used a belt to "whoop" the child but didn't see the extent of the child's injuries until later when he called the child's mother. When asked how many times he hit the 7-year-old, Johnson responded "a couple times." Documents say Johnson continued to deny that he used an extension cord to beat the child.
After the interview, Johnson agreed to let police search his apartment. When they did, investigators say they found a brown extension cord with blood on it.
"The extension cord is believed to be the instrument used in the child abuse and was collected," documents say.
Based on the evidence, Johnson was arrested and jailed on a $5,000 bond. As of Wednesday, he remains in jail.