Dad JOSEPH HAFNER says he was "stressed" because he was taking care of five kids. That's why he smashed his 6-year-old son into the ground and beat him.
Father arrested on child abuse charges
Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 4:00 am
By MAUNETTE LOEKS New Media Editor
Scottsbluff Police arrested a Scottsbluff man Tuesday on charges of abusing his 6-year-old boy after the boy denied taking a key.
Joseph Hafner, 40, has been charged with committing child abuse with intent, a Class IIIA felony. He was arraigned on charges Wednesday in Scotts Bluff County Court and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on May 21.
Scottsbluff Police arrested Hafner on Tuesday after receiving a report that Hafner’s 6-year-old son had told staff at his school that his dad had smashed his face to the ground and spanked his lower back. In a forensic interview at CAPstone, the boy told police he had suffered a bloody nose after his dad slammed him to the ground in the family’s kitchen.
The boy had several contusions and red marks on his back and bruising, including bruising on his upper left shoulder and a bruise on his right forearm. A Regional West Medical Center emergency physician told police the boy appeared to have also suffered injuries on his right arm that were consistent with being grabbed.
Police contacted Hafner at his wife’s business. When he told Hafner why he wanted to speak with him, Hafner allegedly admitted the abuse, telling police “that he ‘did it’ and he should arrest him now.” Hafner complied with a request to come to the police department for questioning. During questioning, he told police he had been under a tremendous amount of stress and had been home with his son and four other children after the funeral of the couple’s stillborn child. He had been looking for a key to a garage and had questioned the children. The boy had denied taking the key, but Hafner said “lost it,” the affidavit says, and he picked the child up and threw him onto the kitchen floor. During the throw, the child struck his nose and mouth. Hafner also told police he had struck the child on the small of his back before realizing he was out of control and going into the basement of the home.
Hafner is being held on a $75,000 bond.