SAN ANGELO, Texas. – A Texas man was arrested and may face serious charges of abuse after allegedly tying up his child with a dog leash and beating him, police say.
Daily News reported that Ronnie Winans, 25, of San Angelo, was arrested on suspicion of injuring a child with intent to commit bodily injury on Thursday. Deputies say that now investigators are trying to figure out how long the alleged child abuse has been going on.
Police were first alerted to the severity of the situation when the 6-year-old boy’s mother called the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office when she discovered bruises on his legs. The boy refused to tell his mother where they came from. The report indicated that the bruises appeared to be “consistent with blunt force trauma.”
As the young boy was being photographed for the police report, he reportedly told the deputies that Winans had “tied him to a door with a dog leash.”
Police referred the boy and his mother to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Tom Green County, where they further investigated the alleged abuse. The child told the advocacy center that Winans had tied him to a garage door using a dog leash before going into a store. He claimed that it had been tied in a way that if he attempted to pull away, it would become even tighter.
The boy said he “could not breathe because the leash was tight.” A relative told authorities that she had noticed and freed him after he was tied up for about 15 minutes.
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The leash is not where the abuse stopped. According to reports, the boy said his father would throw clothes hangers and bottles at him because he “did not like it when he moved around a lot.” When questioned about the additional bruising on his legs, the boy did not want to admit how they got there.
“I was just asleep . . . and things happen. That’s all,” he said.
Daily News reported that a witness who said she was hiding behind a chair at the time of the alleged assault, saw the boy’s father hit him on the legs with the handle of a hammer.
When deputies searched the home, they discovered the hammer and green dog leash that had been described by witnesses.
Winans was taken into custody by police and questioned. He admitted to throwing things at his son, but claimed that, “it was done in an attempt to get his attention, and not as punishment.” He also reportedly admitted to tying the boy up with the leash “in an attempt to keep him from leaving the corner,” but claimed that it wasn’t tight.
A Texas man was arrested Thursday after allegedly tying a child to a garage door with a dog leash and beating him with a hammer. https://t.co/DxRG48Ecvw
— FOX61 (@FOX61News) August 18, 2019
He denied striking the boy with the hammer or causing the other bruises that were found.
Winans was released from custody on $15,000 bond. Though he has not been formally indicted, authorities say he will most likely face charges of injury to a child, elderly or disabled person with intent to cause injuries. The third-degree felony could land him up to 10 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000, according to the Standard-Times.