A Utah mother was charged with child abuse for beating her son with a broom after the teen refused to do his chores.
52 year old Irene Pupa of West Valley, Utah was arrested after her 14 year old son was found bleeding from the head with multiple abrasions on his body. Upon investigating the incident, authorities discovered that Pupa had become angry at her son after he blatantly refused to do chores. Pupa took the broom her son was supposed to be cleaning with and hit him over the head with it. She then proceeded to strike her son multiple times on his body as well. The boy was taken to the hospital where it was determined he had bleeding on the brain and a skull fracture.
Felony child abuse
Pupa was booked into the Salt Lake County jail on second degree felony child abuse. Utah Code 76-5-109 states that “Any person who inflicts upon a child serious physical injury, or having the care or custody of such child, causes or permits another to inflict serious physical injury upon a child is guilty of an offense as follows:
(a) If done intentionally or knowingly, the offense is a felony of the second degree;
(b) If done recklessly, the offense is a felony of the third degree; or
(c) If done with criminal negligence, the offense is a class A misdemeanor.”
Although Pupa was charged with “intentionally or knowingly” harming her son, she may have not wanted to harm him but did so while in a fit of rage. Like many parents, she could have felt extreme anger with her son’s disrespectful tone and may have been dealing with such behavior for a great length of time. Snapping at kids and inflicting pain on them is not only illegal, but studies have shown it to be less effective than other methods of dealing with parental issues. Parenting teens requires a great deal of patience and keeping a level head during arguments, and those who are unable to do so may benefit greatly from anger management and parenting classes to learn some of these other coping methods for dealing with difficult children. These classes may be taken at the choice of parents and are often court ordered following a family incident. Hopefully Pupa and other parents who struggle with disciplining their teens receive the help they needs to successfully parent their children in a loving and effective manner.