AVENTURA (CBSMiami) – A father is under arrest for allegedly abusing his child outside a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Aventura.
Police arrested 40-year-old Peter Juris on Monday.
As he was released from jail, Juris told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that he had to take stern measures because his child with special needs was acting up. He did admit that he lost his temper.
Juris said, “The boy was a little upset. There were a little bit of issues. Then I corrected him. He was acting too much. Well, I needed to make things work with the kid. I have 5 years experience dealing with children and this is the first time something like this has happened.”
When asked if he lost his temper, Juris said “Of course” but he added his son “did something that he was not supposed to.”
In bond court on Tuesday, Juris’ wife defended her husband while holding their other child, saying they do their best to care for their two sons who have behavioral and developmental problems. They’re even getting help from a service dog that was brought to bond court.
“We were trained to take care of them because they have special needs,” said his wife on the brink of tears. “My husband is a great father, a great husband and without his help, I couldn’t have done what we’ve done for them. I don’t know what happened yesterday but it’s not something that’s happened before and I don’t think it will happen again.”
Patrons of the Chuck E. Cheese, located at 20335 Biscayne Blvd, called police Monday saying Juris was carrying the child away from the restaurant under his left arm and hitting the child’s head with his right hand while walking to his Maserati vehicle.
Once they got to the car, police say, he put the child inside and hit him on the face and chest area “numerous times with his closed fist.”
Juris allegedly tried to leave the area before police arrived. That’s when one of the patrons stood in front of the vehicle to stop him from leaving.
Good Samaritan Victor Castillo said, “Once I saw him starting to hit the child I got in front of his Maserati and blocked him from leaving. I didn’t think twice about it. I just got in front of him. I had seen him hitting the child in the head. He slapped him in the head. And then he hit him in the head and the face with a closed fist. It’s just terrible. It’s heartbreaking to see this especially with a kid with special needs.”
When police arrived, they say they found red bruising and contusions around the child’s eyes and face. The child was also wearing plastic sunglasses that had the right lens missing, according to police.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue arrived and treated the child at the scene. Meanwhile, authorities contacted the child’s mother and the Department of Children and Families.
Police listed Juris’ hands, fists and feet as weapons used in the incident, according to his arrest report.
Juris is now facing charges of Battery and Child Abuse without Great Bodily Harm.
Judge Mindy Glazer says while she can sympathize she does believe there is probable cause for the charges and set his bond at $5,000.
“I am very sympathetic to your situation, sir, but I can’t condone any type of behavior where a child may be harmed,” said Glazer.
She also issued a stay away order in which he cannot have contact with his son, has to stay 500 feet away from him and cannot go home. The judge has also ordered him to surrender any firearms he might have.
DCF is investigating the incident and has not prior history with the family.