MUNCIE, Ind. — A Muncie man is facing a felony charge after court documents claim he beat a child with a belt.
Police say Daniel Strunk completed a battery report with the Muncie Police Department for his 9-year-old son on March 24. Strunk stated the incident happened the same day at 5 p.m. in the report.
Strunk says his son told him he was “battered” by his step-father, 33-year-old Gary L. Cooper and that his older brother also witnessed the beating. Court documents report Gary hit the boy with his hands 10 to 12 times and after his hands began to hurt, proceeded to hit the child 10 times with a belt.
Strunk added that the child said he was struck because Cooper got mad at him for “making potatoes”.
A Department of Child Services (DCS) official showed the investigator photos showing a large amount of bruising on the child’s right buttocks, thigh and leg. The other juvenile reported to be the victim’s older brother also confirmed details during a separate interview with police.
Cooper was arrested on March 31 and was later released from the Delaware County Jail.
He is being charged with Battery Resulting Bodily Injury when victim is under 14, a Level 5 Felony.
Cooper was convicted in 2018 of domestic battery of a child less than 16 years old in Delaware Circuit Court.
The investigation into the March incident is ongoing and no pretrial hearing has been set as of Monday morning.