Crime

Children had 30 minutes to eat. When they didn’t finish, he hit them with a belt, cops say

Three young children told investigators a man hit them repeatedly with a belt, leaving bruises, after they did not finish their breakfast fast enough, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.

The children, listed as 5, 8 and 9 years old, told deputies that Benny James III struck them with a belt when they did not eat their breakfast in 30 minutes Wednesday, according to the affidavit.

They were given another 10 minutes to finish their breakfast, but when they could not, they were struck with the belt again. The children were struck on their hands, feet and buttocks, according to the affidavit.

One child had bruises on her feet and two other had injuries to their back, hands and feet.

James was arrested and faces a charge of child abuse.

Sara Nealeigh covers what’s happening in the cities of Bradenton and Palmetto, Florida for the Bradenton Herald. She previously covered breaking news for the Herald after moving to Florida from Ohio in 2016.
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