BARTOW, Fla. (WFLA) – A Bartow father accused of burning his daughter’s hand on a stove top as punishment entered a not guilty plea in court Tuesday.
Felipe Casanova Jr. plans to fight the felony aggravated child abuse charge he’s now facing. Casanova, 39, was locked up just before Memorial Day.
Bartow police say he placed his 9-year-old daughter’s hand on the stove and accused her of stealing.
Investigators say the father of three told them the girl took snacks from his bedroom and a few dollars from his wallet for food at school.
Casanova told detectives his mother was strict on him and used the same form of punishment.
“It’s wrong in 1979 when this gentleman was born, it’s wrong in 2019. Putting your hand over a stove for a child to get burned, under any circumstances is unacceptable,” said Deputy Chief Bryan Dorman.
Police say they got involved after a teacher at school noticed the girl had a black eye. The girl got that injury after pulling away from the hot stove and tripping over a nearby stool, according to investigators.
Casanova decided to leave court without speaking to 8 On Your Side but people claiming to know him are coming to his defense on social media saying he’s innocent of any wrongdoing.