PALM BAY, Fla. â€“ A video shows a father umpiring a scuffle between his son and another teenager, then repeatedly beating the teen after his son quits the fight, police investigators say.
Gary Leroy Johnson, 35, has been charged with felony counts of aggravated battery and child abuse, as well as misdemeanor counts of filing a false report, affray and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Soon after the Aug. 19 incident Johnson posted a $35,000 bond and was released from jail.
Court records indicate Johnson, who works as an emergency room technician, did not have a prior criminal history in Brevard County.
According to the charges, a 16-year-old boy came to Johnson’s houseto get into an altercation with his son.
Johnson, who weighs 220 pounds and is 6 foot, 5 inches tall, “told both the boys that if they wanted to fight, he would monitor the fight and make sure it was a fair fight,” an arrest affidavit states.
During the backyard brawl, Johnson’s son refused to continue, so Johnson stepped in.
This week, the Palm Bay Police Department released the video that investigators said shows what happened.
Dressed in shorts, sneakers and a white tank top, a man congratulates a boy with a handshake and a pat on the back.
That spirit quickly fades.
“Hold on one second,” the man says to the shirtless boy. “You want to get knocked . . . out by me, boy?”
“Yes,” the boy answers, “I would like to see that.”
The man punches the boy in the face, then shoves him to the grass.
In the background, a blonde in red shoes yells, “Stop it. Stop it. . . . Let him go!”
“Let it be. Let it be. Let it be,” a male bystander says.
Lying in the fetal position, the boy shields his face with his hands. But the man removes them, rears his right arm and delivers six punches to the boy’s face.
The boy is resting on his hands and knees, trying to get up, when the man kicks the boy’s head as if he were punting a football.
After the man punches the victim one more time, another shirtless boy says, “Dad! Dad!” and grabs the man around the waist.
“The victim was then able to get up and run from the residence,” the affidavit states.
Before the video surfaced, Johnson told police the boy threw the first punch, according to the affidavit. Johnson also told police that he punched the teen in retaliation but did not continue beating the boy after he fell to the ground.
According to the affidavit, he told the police: “The juveniles then got up, shook hands and went their separate ways.”