Jefferson City resident Shannon E. Kerksiek, 33, was charged Friday with child abuse/neglect, a Class C felony.
The charge stems from a citizen call about possible child abuse that evening. After the call, at about 8:49 p.m., a Jefferson City police officer was flagged down at the intersection of East Dunklin and Clark Avenue, about a man pursuing and assaulting a young juvenile male, according to the probable cause statement.
Both witnesses and the suspect, Kerksiek, were found at the scene and brought in for questioning.
Kerksiek said he was "just having issues with my son."
The child - who was hysterical, crying and inconsolable - responded: "No, you punched me."
At the scene, the child said: "I would rather die than go back with my father."
Witnesses said Kerksiek was striking his son on the buttocks hard enough that the child appeared to be coming off the ground. When he placed his son back in the car to leave the scene, he "slammed" his son into the car, witnesses said.
Kerksiek admitted to slapping his son in the face and slapping his buttocks as punishment. He admitted to striking his son multiple times both as discipline and "losing his cool."
He admitted his actions were beyond a discipline level, and blamed stress in his life.
The probable cause statement said the juvenile had visible red marks on his face and scrapes on his right ankle from Kerksiek dragging his son back into the vehicle.
Kerksiek was released on $20,000 bond.
An arraignment has been set for 9 a.m. Oct. 8 in Cole County Circuit Judge Tom Sodergren's court.