A Florida man was arrested after allegedly beating an 8-year-old boy and threatening to feed him to alligators, authorities said.
Dereck Dunn, 28, was charged with child abuse after he took the little boy to a pond behind his Palm Coast home Tuesday and threatened to feed him to alligators, the child told police, according to a Flagler County Sheriff’s Office charging affidavit.
When the pair went back inside, Dunn allegedly punched the boy in the face and pressed his face into a carpet to the point he couldn’t breathe, the boy told cops.
Dunn brought the child into a closet, where he struck him in the buttocks with a belt about 10 times and said he would buy the boy “a dress and a tiara,” the report said.
“[The victim] stated he was scared of Dereck,” it continued.
The little boy had scars on his eye socket, arms, legs and buttocks, deputies said.
The child’s mother told police that Dunn claimed to have accidentally hit her son in the face.
Dunn allegedly said he was only joking when he picked the little boy up and threatened to feed him to alligators. He also claimed to be joking about “dressing him up like a little girl,” the report said.
He allegedly told police that hitting each other in the backside is a “game” he plays with the boy.
Dunn also denied hitting the child with a belt and said he did not push the little boy’s head into the ground, the report said.
“This is an unfortunate case and we take child abuse allegations very seriously,” Laura Williams, public information officer for the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, told InsideEdition.com.
She urged the public to pay attention to what is going on in their communities and families and to report any suspicious behavior to police.
Dunn had a first appearance in court following his arrest, where bail was set at $7,500, police told InsideEdition.com. He was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim and remained jailed Friday.
A date for his arraignment has not yet been set.