GREENFIELD — A local father who admitted to police he gave his young son a spanking that was “too aggressive” now faces criminal charges, according to court documents.

Brandon Burmeister, 31, of Wilkinson, appeared in Hancock County Superior Court 1 this week where he faces a felony count of battery on a person under the age of 14.

Burmeister told police he was trying to discipline his misbehaving son when he struck the boy with a paddle made out of an old 2-by-4 piece of wood, court documents state.

He stuck the boy at least six times, leaving scratches and bruises on the boy’s backside, police said.

Burmeister admitted it was “the worst spanking he had ever given his son,” court documents state. A woman who witnessed the spanking and was interviewed by police said she believed the man had gone too far, court documents state.

Burmeister’s is the latest in a handful of instances where caregivers told police they were disciplining a child before they wound up facing criminal charges. For example, a woman was arrested at the end of July after allegedly strangling a girl at a Greenfield restaurant. The woman said the child had made an inappropriate comment and “deserved what she got,” according to court documents.

Prosecutor Brent Eaton said cases like these can be difficult to file. He and his deputies respect that parents have the right to discipline their kids; but they need to balance that with their duty to protect the community’s most vulnerable members.

Often prosecutors are left to consider the motivation behind the so-called punishment, particularly if it was done “in the spirit of anger,” Eaton said.

Burmeister was not arrested by the police who investigated his case. Instead he was ordered to appear in court this week, records show.

Burmeister faces one Level 5 felony count of battery on a person under the age of 14. The charge carries a penalty of up to six years in prison.

Courtesy of the Greenfield Daily Reporter