Pasco Deputies: Man beat 3 young children for not eating fast enough

Pasco County

They didn’t eat breakfast fast enough so three young children received a severe beating with a belt.

A Spring Hill man is facing three felony counts for his choice of punishment.

Thirty minutes is how long Pasco deputies say Benny James III gave 3 children, ages 5, 8 and 9 to finish eating their breakfast.     

Investigators wrote, when the children didn’t finish in the allotted time, James  used a belt to beat the kids on their rears, hands, back and feet.

When 30 minutes elapsed, Pasco Deputies say James gave them 10 more minutes to eat.

Arrest paperwork gives an address for James on Spellman Court in Spring Hill.

We found a locked gate and smoke billowing from an unattended fire in the back yard.     

Parents at a nearby park are having a hard time understanding how somebody could inflict such pain on young children for such a mild infraction.

“That is awful. I would never do something like that. That’s crazy,” said Davrie Dono.

The arrest documents say after the added 10 minutes of time to eat, James went at it again when the children weren’t able to finish their meal.

“To go to that resort because they didn’t handle, there’s other options that you can do in the meantime to get through to them,” said Dono.

She offered alternatives.

“Take the toys away. Ground ’em from TV. Yeah. There’s other options,” said Dono.

Parents 8 On Your Side spoke to believe the belt beating is way overboard.

“Oh that is not good at all.  Yes. That punishment should not be tolerated,” said Miranda Smith.

The 5 and 8-year-olds received injuries to their back, hands and feet.

The 9-year-old has bruises on her feet.

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