AVENTURA, FLA. (WSVN) - - A father is facing child abuse charges after being accused of assaulting his son outside a Chuck E. Cheese in Aventura, Monday afternoon.
Cellphone video captured the father, 40-year-old Peter Juris, being taken away in handcuffs in front of the restaurant, located along Northeast 203rd Street.
Witnesses said the little boy is about 3 years old and appeared to have some sort of disability.
“You don’t hit a kid like that. You don’t clench your fist and start hitting him in the face,” said witness Victor Castillo. “You don’t hit a kid with a fist like that. It was a 3-year-old, man.”
Several witnesses were inside with their families when, they said, Juris, dressed in a black shirt, crossed the line as he put his son in his car seat.
“He goes like that [makes punching motion] twice in his eye,” said witness Victor Rosa.
Police have since charged Juris with battery and child abuse with no great bodily harm.
Castillo spoke to 7News after he jumped in to help. He can be seen in the video as he tried to stop Juris in the Maserati from leaving.
“That’s your own child. How could you do that to your own child?” a witness can be heard saying in the video.
More witnesses eventually surrounded Juris. One even used a car to keep the father from driving away, while his young son sat in the back seat.
“The kid was bleeding from around his eye because he had those glasses — goggles on,” said Castillo.
Rosa said, “We wanted to kill that guy. We don’t do it because, you know, I do that, believe me, I get arrested.”
Officers arrived shortly after.
Police did not reveal much information about the young victim to protect his privacy, but he was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
And while Juris waits to learn his fate in court, witnesses told 7News they wish they could take justice into their own hands.
“I wish I had just five minutes with that guy, just five minutes,” said Castillo.
Juris is being held at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
The Florida Department of Children and Families is now investigating.
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