OKMULGEE, Okla. – A 25-year-old Oklahoma man faces charges after he allegedly beat his girlfriend’s son over the weekend as punishment for opening a Christmas present early without permission.
The victim’s mother, Bridgette Payne, had left the 5-year-old boy with Wesley McCollum on Saturday to do some holiday shopping, she wrote in a Facebook post. When she arrived home that night, Payne said she learned from her boyfriend that her son Ayrian had been sent to bed early because he opened a wrapped gift that had been under the Christmas tree.
She then went to check on her son in bed, and that was when she discovered bruises on his arms, back and face, and a handprint on his cheek, according to KFOR.
“Words cannot explain seeing your baby like this and having no clue what happened,” Payne wrote in the Facebook post, in which she also included several photos of her son’s injuries. “‘Wesley hurt me bad, mama,’ is all he kept saying.”
After “losing it” — as Payne put it on Facebook — she immediately called police, who arrived at the home shortly after 10 p.m. and arrested McCollum on complaints of child abuse and child neglect, the station, according to Tulsa television station KJRH
Payne told KJRH that McCollum said he had punished her son for opening the gift.
“He tried to say it was ‘to teach him a lesson’ and ‘He needed to learn to listen,'” she wrote on Facebook.
Payne also told KJRH that she has since filed a protective order against him.
In the past 10 months, she said she had “not once” witnessed anger from McCollum, nor did she think he would do something like that to her children. “I would of never been with him. Plain and simple,” Payne wrote on Facebook.