Father defends disciplining daughter in viral video

Father defends disciplining daughter in viral video

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County father is defending how he disciplined his daughter in a controversial social media video that’s been watched more than a million times.

Drew Anderson spoke with Channel 2 Action News Gwinnett County bureau chief Tony Thomas about the video and the one thing he regrets.

“I don’t regret anything that was seen on video, but I do regret broadcasting the video to other people,” Anderson told Thomas.

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“We had our reasons for doing it because we wanted to kind of present information to her followers that are aiding her in giving her a place to stay because they are misinformed,” Anderson said.

The 36-minute Instagram live post showed Anderson and his wife confronting his 14-year-old daughter about repeatedly lying, running away and stealing.

The video quickly spread on social media and prompted several people to call their local authorities asking them to help the girl.

“The videos do look bad. They look a lot worse than what they really are,” Anderson said.

Gwinnett County police say they’ve confirmed the incident took place at a Buford home on Sept. 5.

The video can be disturbing to watch. It appears to show Anderson struggling with the girl as she tries to get away.

She reacted as if she was struck several times and can be heard screaming for her father to get off her as he kneels on top of her, pinning her to the garage floor.

Anderson says the girl is fine and insists neither he nor his wife struck the teen. Anderson’s wife is the girl’s stepmother.

“I stand behind what I did as a father, somebody who is concerned. I love my daughter, I don’t want to hurt my daughter and I don’t want her to get hurt,” Anderson said.

“I didn’t sit on her. I didn’t put my weight down on her at any time in the video. I strictly used my knees to kind of lock her arms in while I was holding her arms to the side.”

Anderson’s actions on video could land him in jail. Gwinnett County police and prosecutors are deciding if any charges should be filed.

Thomas asked Anderson, “Let me ask you what the police are going to ask you. Did you abuse your daughter at all?”

“Never. I’ve disciplined my child before. I’ve never struck her in the face,” Anderson replied.

Anderson says his daughter has run away three times in the past two months and won’t listen to him about the dangers of being with strangers.

The video, he says, was to show her what could happen if she got into a situation with someone who wanted to do her harm.

“My intent was to give her an experience that she could feel because she is not listening to me. I just hope this situation will wake her up in a sense. There’s a lot of people out there that love you and you just need to make smarter choices.” Anderson explained. “I’m sorry it’s gotten to where it’s gotten to today.”

Police confirmed they have spoken with the teen since the videos were recorded.

Detectives also confirm she is safe and staying with a family friend.