DEER PARK, Texas — A Texas man faces charges after slapping a boy who was allegedly bullying his step-daughter while she was walking home from school last week.
James Olander Peace faces a charge of felony injury to a child in the case.
Peace and his family said 12-year-old Presleigh had called and asked for a ride home, saying she was bullied by a 12-year-old boy.
Her family said both classmates were walking home from school when the boy began flicking ice cream at her. It then allegedly escalated to name calling, and eventually the boy was throwing small rocks.
Presleigh said she told him to stop, and that he said ‘no.’ Peace saw the boy on his way to pick up his daughter. He stopped to confront him.
“He had been bullying, messing with her and picking on her all day,” Peace said. “He did admit that to me.”
A nearby surveillance camera caught the encounter. Police say Peace was shouting at the 12-year-old boy, then hit him.
“He was slapped across the face with an open hand, had red marks and swelling to his cheek and upper jaw,” said Deer Park Police Lt. Chris Brown.
Peace said he knows there is a process to report bullying at the school, but he said he wanted to confront the bully himself.
I went up and talked to him and he kept running his mouth back,” he said. “If he was talking to me like that imagine how he was talking to her?”
He admits he let his emotions take over when the confrontation ended with a slap.
“I am sorry for that,” said Peace. “I wish I would have approached it differently.”
Presleigh said she wants other victims of bullying to know they are not alone.
“Just tell somebody,” she said. “Talk to somebody. Don’t hold it in.”