LAKE WORTH, Fla. - A Lake Worth man who spent nearly five years in jail as a convicted felon battered his 5-year-old son for turning on a bedroom light, deputies say.
Travis Hardge, 42, now stands charged of aggravated child abuse, adding to his list of 22 arrests since 1988.
The child's mother came home from work Tuesday around 6 p.m. Inside, she found Hardge crying.
"What happened?" she asked.
He lost control, he said – he hit their son.
"He pulled his arm really hard," said a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office report. "He told her he wasn't sure if there was any serious damage."
The mother asked the child what happened. The child said his dad hit him.
A short time later, a detective walked into Room 9 of the JFK Medical Center in Atlantic, where the boy sat with "marks and bruises all over his chest," the report says.
The boy told detectives he had the light on in his room. When Hardge found out, he repeatedly punched the boy in the chest and pulled his arm.
After the attack, the boy couldn't move his arm.
The detective later found Hardge in the waiting room and asked him what happened. But Hardge refused to comment.
"He didn't wish to speak," the report says. "He already spoke with his lawyer."
Deputies then arrested Hardge on a charge of aggravated child abuse.
The detective went back into Room 9 to photograph the boy's injuries and found more signs of abuse.
"I then observed he had marks and scratches on his back as well," the detective wrote in the report.
The boy said were "more on his legs and butt," the report says.
"He pulled his shorts down," the report says, "and I observed belt marks and bruises on both of his legs and buttocks."
The detective asked where those marks came from.
"His dad hit him with the belt a lot," the detective wrote in the report.
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