Police in Arizona have arrested a 49-year-old father who allegedly used a Taser to punish his 11-year-old son for failing to finish his homework, PEOPLE confirms.
Investigators in Goodyear, Arizona, began looking into possible child abuse claims against Darryl Ingram on April 20, after school staffers noticed several “scattered spot-like abrasions” on his son’s right shoulder, charging documents reveal.
Ingram’s son allegedly told detectives his father began using a Taser to discipline him more than a year ago.
The electroshock weapon, which is primarily used for self-defense, was applied to the child’s arms, legs, and shoulder — sometimes for more than 30 seconds at a time — according to the charging documents, which were obtained by PEOPLE.
The boy told police his father likened the Taser to a toy and warned him the device “wasn’t charged all the way.” Court documents show the boy was allegedly abused when he didn’t do his homework or was “doing things he wasn’t supposed to.”
The child told investigators his dad had hit him more than once with a metal cane. Often, he was given the option of being “whooped,” or smacked 40 times, or shocked.
He chose the Taser, according to arrest records.
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After he was arrested, Ingram allegedly told detectives he did not own a stun gun or a Taser. Instead, he insisted, he was using a faux Taser phone app.
But police say they soon learned Ingram did, in fact, own a Taser. They found it hidden inside a car.
He has been charged with child abuse and is barred from contacting his son, who is now in the custody of his mother. He has not entered a plea.
Ingram is out on bond but could not be reached for comment by PEOPLE. He spoke to KNXV in Phoenix, telling the TV station the stun gun was used to scare his son and not discipline him.
“I was telling him this is a toy compared to what police use,” Ingram said, according to the station. “If your behavior and the way you’re doing things continues on, somewhere down the line, this is something that is going to be used on you. You have to be obedient.”
“I just kind of showed him against myself,” Ingram told KNXV. “It basically is like a pinch. It doesn’t deliver much voltage or anything. It does kinda like pinch the skin.”
Talking to police, Ingram allegedly admitted to using the Taser on his son once, just to demonstrate how dangerous the device could be, charging documents state.
This is the second time Ingram has been investigated for abuse, court records allege: Schools officials once called child welfare workers after Ingram allegedly spanked his son. That case was dismissed, court records show.