EUGENE, Ore. - A police officer enforcing a court order in a child custody dispute appears to smack the boy in the head after the 10-year-old bites the officer's hand, according to a review of a video making the rounds on Facebook.
Police said the boy ran from officers at Monroe Park at the urging of his mother's friends. A woman starts shooting video as the officer walks the boy back to the park after running down the child.
"You do not hit that child. You do not hit an underage child," the woman holding the camera screams.
The officer responds that the boy had bit him.
Police had to chase the boy down after his mother told the child "to just run away, the police are going to take you away," Lt. Sam Kamkar said.
Kamkar described the officer's response to the situation as calm and professional.
"He continues to display professionalism even after he's bit by the child," Kamkar said.
As the officer walks the boy back to where other police and the mother are standing, people in the background repeatedly shout "he just hit a child" and make various verbal threats about lawsuits and posting the video on Facebook, where it is has been repeatedly shared.
Officers appear to largely ignore a shirtless boy who claims to know the Mexican mafia and threatens to use explosives to "blow up" the orphanage or juvenile hall to free his friend.
The video, laced with profanity, shows officers asking people to keep their distance while an officer explains to the mother that they are enforcing a court order.
The mother disputes whether the father is the boy's biological father, as does the boy. She also makes statements about missing a court date. The officers explain they are just enforcing the court's order to give the father full custody.
People off camera question whether the police can ask them to keep their distance in a public park and continue to shout as the boy is loaded into a police vehicle.
The mother and others on camera also make accusations about the custodial parent's criminal history. Oregon court records do not initially appear to support the claims. The man's record in Lane County is limited to a traffic violation.
The Department of Human Services said they plan extensive follow up on the situation.
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