The stepfather of a 12-year-old girl has been charged with inflicting injury to a child, a felony offense, after he slapped a child who was allegedly bullying his stepdaughter in school.
On Feb. 14, James Peace, 37, of Deer Park, Texas, pulled over and approached the victim while his stepdaughter was in the car. According to a police record, Peace threatened the victim, a minor, "to never talk to his daughter again" before smacking him across the face.
Peace had apparently hit the child so hard it left a red imprint on his face in the shape of his right palm, police noted.
The child and his parent told police they did not know who Peace was at the time of the incident.
When an officer was able to identify, locate, and interview him, Peace admitted that while he "let his emotions get the best of him," he did strike the child "for picking on his daughter," according to police documents.
The dad then went on to say his stepdaughter suffers from depression and that the alleged bully had damaged her mental health.
In an interview with KHOU 11 on Tuesday, the stepdaughter told the local news station that the victim of this incident was a classmate of hers who had repeatedly teased her and her body, which left her in tears on a number of occasions.
"I was just minding my own business, not saying anything. He had actually walked up to me and said 'You look like you're transgender.' And saying I have no chest," she said.
“And he threw ice cream at me. He actually flicked a spoon full of ice cream at me and yeah...it was just very hurtful," she added.
Peace told the outlet he was overcome with anger when his daughter informed him of what happened. However, he said he wished "it would’ve gone differently" and regrets getting physical with the child.
“I’m not going to walk around here and hurt no kids. I never have before in my life. It’s just that I defend my kids. If it was ever the same way, I would check my own kids in front of you if I needed to. Right then and there," he said.
Peace was released on Tuesday after posting a bond of $15,000.