Darren Downing, age 28, of Mount Orab, was arrested Tuesday afternoon, Oct 13, charged with domestic violence and several counts of endangering children following an alleged series of excessive punishments against his son.
Police were dispatched to Downing’s residence on Autumn Court after a caller reported a boy had been working along a fence from dusk to dawn since the day prior, and they believed it may have been as some form of punishment. Upon arrival, Patrolman Conley found the boy, who is 7-years-old, cutting grass along the fence with a small pair of scissors, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Brown County Municipal Court.
Conley observed the boy’s hands were dirty with visible cuts, scratches and a worn open blister, which the boy allegedly told the officer were from the scissors.
According to the affidavit, the boy’s father, Darren Downing, then came out from the residence and allegedly told Conley he had been punishing the boy ever since he was suspended from school. Downing supposedly told the officer the boy had been suspended for 5 days following an incident in which he struck and kicked his teacher and the principal, and he wanted to teach his son some discipline.
Downing then allegedly described several of the boy’s punishments to Conley, including one in which the boy was required to hold himself in a push-up position and be spanked each time he fell to the floor. The boy, according to Downing, may have received a cut on his lip after Downing held his hand over his mouth, not allowing the boy to breathe, when he was unable to do any more push-ups.
Downing was also quoted as saying the boy had to throw away his toys, lay in his bedroom, and was allowed only to “eat, sleep, drink and use the bathroom” until the boy was told to start cutting the grass with scissors two days later, according to the affidavit.
Brown County Children’s Services were called to the scene and placed the boy in their custody. Downing was taken to the office of the social service worker assigned to the case, where he filled out paperwork and was subsequently arrested.
Downing remains in the Brown County Adult Detention Center, charged with two counts of third-degree felony child endangering, one count of first-degree misdemeanor child endangering, and one count of first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence.