POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Bartow father is accused of burning his 9-year-old daughter’s hand on a hot stovetop to punish her for stealing.
According to an arrest report, a teacher at Stephens Elementary notified police after the girl reportedly came to school Wednesday with a bruise on her left eye and what appeared to be a significant burn on her right palm.
According to police, the 39-year-old father placed his daughter’s hand on a hot stove and told her, “this is what will happen when you steal.”
Detectives tell News Channel 8 the father-of-three did this to “teach her a lesson” after she took snacks from his bedroom and a few dollars from his wallet to buy food at school.
Documents show that the child sustained the black eye when she pulled her hand away from the hot stove and tripped over a stool nearby.
When asked what happened, Casanova reportedly told investigators “his mother did this to him,” and that his mother was “strict.”
Casanova was arrested for felony aggravated child abuse and booked into Polk County Jail.
Detectives say the case has affected them on a personal level as parents.
“I was fuming. I was hurt. I felt a lot of compassion for this child,” Deputy Chief Dorman told News Channel 8. “I got my best feelings when that father went to jail.”
Bartow police said they want to remind people if you see something, say something—and they’re happy the girl’s teacher did just that.