There’s a disturbing story of alleged child abuse that led to murder coming out of Florida. According to reports by the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office, an Englewood man was taken into custody after allegedly sitting on his 6-year-old son as punishment for watching his father and his girlfriend play video games, which crushed the child to death.
According to authorities, the incident occurred on Christmas Eve, and the father, James Dearman, is the one who called paramedics to his home, where his son was unresponsive, not breathing, and had visible bruising on his back. The son was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead. James Dearman weighs 270 pounds, according to a report by WFLA.
The Sarasota Sheriff’s Office reported the following information about the child abuse case.
“The investigation revealed that while Dearman and his girlfriend were playing video games in the living room, Dearman made his son and 7-year-old sibling stand with their faces to the wall. When his son turned to look at the television, Dearman got angry and brought the child to the couch where he forced him to lie on his side and face the rear cushions.
“Dearman then used his body weight to pin his son down while he and his girlfriend continued to play video games. His son screamed that he couldn’t breathe and begged to use the bathroom eventually urinating on the couch and becoming unconscious. Dearman and his girlfriend left the child on the couch, went to the garage to smoke a cigarette and later called 911.”
Englewood man charged with Aggravated Child Abuse after 6 y/o son dies Christmas Eve: https://t.co/NtnAnKekIx pic.twitter.com/ODynLDsYkk
— SarasotaSheriff (@SarasotaSheriff) December 31, 2015
The child’s official cause of death has yet to be determined, but the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office isn’t taking any chances. They continued to state how they are holding Dearman on an out-of-state warrant while the medical examiner completes the autopsy.
“Dearman was arrested Monday on an outstanding warrant from Georgia for Animal Cruelty and Criminal Damage to Property. Late Wednesday detectives working in conjunction with the Medical Examiner’s Office charged Dearman with Aggravated Child Abuse. He is currently being held on all charges without bond at the Sarasota County Jail. Dearman’s history includes an arrest in 2008 for Desertion from the Navy.
“The 7-year-old sibling was uninjured and remains in the protective custody of the Department of Children and Family Services. The investigation continues as an official cause of death has yet to be determined by the Medical Examiner’s Office.”
ABC Action News spoke to the family’s neighbor Avis Klein, who expressed shock and dismay over the charges of child abuse and that the little boy who played in the yard was now dead.
“Normal little kids,” she said. “Yeah, they were boisterous but they stayed in their own yard. Not a bother to anybody.”
Dearman is charged with aggravated child abuse and is being held without bond at the Sarasota County Jail. Those charges may change after the medical examiner finishes the investigation.
It’s important to note that Dearman was also wanted in connection with animal abuse charges. While it is true that these are allegations and Dearman is entitled to his day in court, studies show that there is a connection between animal abuse and child abuse. For many people who have no children, their animals or pets are like children and become members of the family. Most people love their animals and wouldn’t mistreat them. Likewise, they love their children and would never consider committing child abuse against them. The way a person treats an animal is often indicative of how they will treat children as well as other people. The person who can hurt, harm, or abuse an animal can often treat children with the same degree of callousness and is more likely to engage in child abuse.
Studies have also identified a link between serial killers and animal cruelty, with many serial killers first practicing their sick, deviant behavior on animals before executing their vicious cruelty on people. It is not uncommon for people who are guilty of child abuse to exhibit other types of abuse, including animal abuse. Again, James Dearman has been charged with aggravated child abuse but has not had his day in court. These are child abuse allegations that must be proved in a court of law.
— Juice (@savino_lucy) December 9, 2015
[Photo Credit/Sarasota Sheriff’s Office]