A Sunday trip to the beach ended with a 30-year-old Ocala man in the Marion County Jail for allegedly abusing an 8-year-old girl on the ride home.
A witness told a Marion County sheriff’s deputy that Joshua Nathaniel Head, who she said had been drinking since 11 a.m., was yelling at her and the child on the way home from Daytona Beach when the girl started kicking Head in the arm because she has ADHD and was acting out. She said Head was in the front passenger seat while the victim was in the back seat.
The witness said Head began yelling at the victim and said, “Stop or I am going to break your leg.” He then tried to grab her leg but ended up grabbing her by her left hand and allegedly twisting her arm until she began to cry, a sheriff’s office report states, adding that the witness said the car was in Marion County when the incident occurred.
When they arrived home, Head reportedly picked up the victim and set her on his lap inside the car and started yelling at her. Head then began pushing the victim’s back into the radio and air conditioner controls on the dashboard, injuring her back, before breaking the rear-view mirror off the vehicle, the report says.
The victim’s account matched the witness’s story. The deputy observed two red marks on the victim’s back from being pushed against the inside of the vehicle. She did not require medical attention.
Head admitted he had a verbal argument with the witness but said he didn’t grab the victim by the arm or leg and did not threaten to break her leg. He said he only picked her up and set her on his lap inside the car.
Upon further questioning, Head said he did grab the girl by the leg when she was kicking him but did not twist her leg or arm. He said once they got home, he picked up the victim and she began flailing and hit her back on the dashboard, the report says.
The witness said there is a history of violence with Head and she feared the incident would escalate to the point of the victim or her becoming injured.
Head was arrested and charged with domestic child abuse without great bodily harm. He’s being held on $2,500 bond and his next appearance in Marion County Court is set for Feb. 5.