ZEBULON — A local man faces a felony charge after he disciplined a 3-year-old girl and caused “a pretty good cut on her forehead,” according to police.
Darren Rex Ruffin, 31, of 1007 N. Bell St., Zebulon, was arrested June 2 and charged with intentional child abuse causing serious physical injury as a result of the incident, which took place about 10:45 p.m. on May 27.
Zebulon police Chief Tim Hayworth said Ruffin was visiting his girlfriend, who resides at 303 E. Vance St. in Zebulon, when he took it upon himself to discipline her 3-year-old daughter. When Ruffin spanked the child, the force propelled the child into the wall and caused a laceration to the left side of her head, Hayworth indicated.
“He apparently hit the child harder than what he should have or intended to,” Hayworth said. “We’re not really sure of the state of mind or intent.”
Police believe alcohol may have been a factor in the incident, but Hayworth said use of alcohol was irrelevant in the case. He said the extent of the injury to the child is what prompted the felony charge.
“What makes this a felony child abuse case is the fact it did require staples to close the wound,” Hayworth said. “It’s pretty dramatic for a 3-year-old to have to get staples in being disciplined.”
Ruffin reportedly left the state after the incident and was met by officers and arrested at his residence when he returned six days later.
He was taken to the Wake County Jail and was released on June 4 after posting $75,000 bond.