A Washington state father was arrested over the weekend for allegedly punishing his 7-year-old daughter with a waterboarding-like technique, according to police probable-cause documents.
Police in Lakewood arrived at a local convenience store on Sunday where they say a woman told them her boyfriend had “waterboarded” the girl.
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She told police she lived with her boyfriend in the apartment where the alleged abuse happened, according to documents cited by Seattle’s KIRO-TV.
The woman said her boyfriend “violently spanked” his daughter with a belt after she lied and talked back to him, the report said. The woman reportedly told officers that the girl was screaming “bloody murder.”
According to the documents, he used a water bottle to pour water onto the girl’s face, causing the child to gag, cry and gasp for air. The woman estimated the man poured water over his daughter for 15 to 20 seconds while she screamed “I can’t breathe,” the report said.
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The woman, believing neither of them was safe, took the girl to a nearby convenience store, where she called the police, investigators said. The girl recounted her father’s punishment and medics discovered bruises on her buttocks, police said.
When police discovered the father was on his way to the store, he was intercepted, KIRO-TV reported. Police said he admitted to spanking his daughter and carrying out the waterboard technique but stopped after she yelled: “I don’t want to die,” the report said.
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The man was arrested and booked into the Pierce County Jail on child assault charges. His identity was not released. The girl’s mother has reportedly taken custody of the child.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.