Police: Man spanks child petting cat

by: Mike Petchenik Updated:

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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. - A Suwanee man faces charges after, police said, he spanked a child at a veterinarian's office.
 
Johns Creek police arrested Russell Baughcum, 42, Monday afternoon at the Johns Creek Vet Clinic on Medlock Bridge Road.  He's facing a simple battery charge.
 
According to a police report obtained by Channel 2's Mike Petchenik, witnesses said a 4-year-old boy was trying to pet Baughcum's cat, which just had surgery. The report said the boy's mother told police she was having a hard time controlling her son, and that Baughcum told the boy not to touch the animal, but he wasn't listening. It said the boy nearly pulled the cat's carrier off a chair. The report said Baughcum "struck" the boy on his backside.

 
Baughcum told police he "struck him lightly on his lower back and buttocks," and that contact was "light enough that he didn't think the child knew he had been touched."
 
Fulton County Jail officials told Petchenik that Baughcum left the jail Tuesday morning after posting $1,000 bond. Petchenik tried to reach Baughcum at his home, but nobody answered the door.
 
Parents at a nearby park had plenty of opinions about the allegations and the arrest.
 
"He should learn that physical violence is not the answer," said Abby Lauderman. "If he had a problem, he should go talk to the parent.”
 
Parent Eddie Gonzales told Petchenik he believes the arrest and charges were warranted.
 
"It doesn’t sound like the little kid was doing anything wrong," said Gonzales. "He was curious about the cat and obviously, the guy overreacted.”