DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - Davie Police have arrested a martial arts instructor accused of abusing an 8-year-old boy.
According to police, 65-year-old Richard Hartman, owner of Dynamic Family Martial Arts on State Road 84 West, was running a day care camp on Jan. 3 for children out on winter break when one of the children became upset after losing a game and punched a wall in frustration.
Police said Hartman became angry and grabbed the child, throwing him to the ground. He then reportedly dragged the boy into his office and threw him into a chair, causing the child to cry.
Investigators said that’s when Hartman violently shook the boy while screaming, “Stop that crying.”
Another child who saw the ordeal pulled out his phone and started recording Hartman yelling, but police said the child became fearful that Hartman was going to see him, so he put his phone down.
“I was told that the one boy had sent the video out to some of the other boys, and that’s how the parents got involved,” said Leone.
The child’s parents reported the apparent abuse and video to authorities.
“In this case, the video was pretty much crucial. We get to see how brutal of an attack this was on this 8-year-old boy,” said Davie Police Sgt. Mark Leone.
Police said the child suffered several bruises to his arm and leg as a result of the incident.
Now, police are investigating to see if there are any other victims.
“Right now, we’re being told that it is possible that this gentleman has been a little physical with some of the other children there,” said Davie Police Sgt. Mark Leone. “This video is the first step in the investigation, and if there are other kids who had any type of similar incident or similar interaction with this gentleman, we’d like their parents to contact the Davie Police Department.”
A client named Durzette was shocked to learn of the arrest as she dropped off her grandchild for karate lessons, but she told 7News the abuse would never be tolerated.
“I’m always here with him,” she said. “Nobody can touch my child. They touch my child, I’ll be the one going to jail, man. I’ll kill them.”
Police arrested Hartman Wednesday, charging him with child abuse without great bodily harm.
Investigators said anyone whose children may have had a similar experience at Hartman’s business are asked to contact the Davie Police Department at (954) 693-8200.
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