McDonald's Customer Calls 911 After Seeing Grandfather Discipline His Grandkids: Cops

Police said the discipline was "excessive" but James Chapman's lawyer said the other diners overreacted.

A grandfather has been arrested after a concerned diner at an Alabama McDonald's called 911 after witnessing him "excessively" disciplining his two young grandchildren, police said.

James Chapman, 73, of Scottsboro, was at the restaurant with his two adopted grandchildren, who are both under the age of 10, on May 10 when police were called, Lt. Erik Dohring with the Scottsboro Police Department told  

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"Officers arrived and talked to several witnesses and were able to watch video inside the business," he said. "It was determined that he would be arrested on two counts of domestic violence."

While declining to provide specific details about what occured inside the restaurant, Lt. Dohring defined domestic violence as "any pushing, pulling, kicking, inappropriate touching."

"Multiple eyewitnesses said that this was excessive," he said. "It was deemed more than appropriate discipline but not enough to be considered child abuse."

The children were not taken to a hospital for treatment, he said.

Chapman is no longer in custody and will appear in court on June 27.

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His attorney, Justin Lackey, told that he will fight the charges in court.

He said he believed the children may have misbehaved in the restaurant and the grandfather was disciplining them appropriately. He added that he believes the man who called 911 may have overreacted.

"I think that the person who was there did not agree with corporal punishment," Lackey said, adding that how Chapman treated the children "was not out of the bounds of what is lawful and reasonable."

His client has been "thrown for a loop" by the accusations, Lackey said.

"This is a 73-year-old man who was out eating with his wife and their grandchildren," he said. "He's raised two children and has five grandchildren. There's never been anything like this before."

Lt. Dohring said that the situation shouldn't be taken lightly. "He was being physical," he said.

Child Protective Services is also investigating.

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