Police: Rock Hill dad arrested for ‘abusive’ discipline of son

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comFebruary 7, 2013 

— A Rock Hill father beat his son with a belt, made him walk in the backyard with a backpack filled with weights and then forced him to hit a punching bag Wednesday to discipline him for an incident at school, according to police.

Hamilton Morales, 33, is charged with unlawful conduct toward a child. By Thursday evening, he was held at the Rock Hill jail on a $5,000 bond.

Morales’ mother called police around 5 p.m. Wednesday, saying that her son abused her grandchild, according to a Rock Hill Police report. When police arrived at the Marett Boulevard home, the boy, 10, told them his father hit him with a belt on his right leg before he put weights in his book bag and made him walk around the backyard.

He said his father also made him jab a punching bag for at least 20 minutes, the report states. Police saw scrapes on the boy’s shoulders from the weight of the bag. They also saw red marks on his legs.

Morales told police that he was punishing his son for an incident at school, the report states. He admitted that he hit the boy with the belt several times and placed the weights into the book bag. He also admitted to making the boy hit a punching bag until he was exhausted, the report states.

According to the report, Morales said he was trying to “break (the boy) down mentally and make him too tired to act out.” In the past, Morales said he’s made the boy stand with his hands stretched out while he held a pair of boots. If the boy dropped his arms, he’d receive a hit from Morales’ belt.

Morales’ actions against his son are “definitely under the category of extreme punishment,” said Jane Alleva, interim director of Rock Hill’s Safe Passage, a shelter for battered women and children.

Extreme punishment shouldn’t be confused with corporal punishment, like spanking, she said.

“Violence begets violence,” Alleva said. Boys especially are susceptible to repeating a pattern of domestic violence if they’re victims themselves at an early age, she said.

Alleva, who said she just became a new grandmother last week, commended Morales’ mother for making the 911 call.

“As a grandmother, I feel a high obligation to guarantee the safety of my grandchild,” she said, adding she’d do the same if she learned her children were endangering her grandchildren. “Family members have a higher sense of responsibility and obligation to ensure safety of their loved ones.”

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