Tahlequah Daily Press

May 7, 2013

Son’s spanking lands local man behind bars

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — County sheriff’s deputies arrested a Tahlequah man last week for allegedly using a wooden paddle to spank a boy 20 times, causing the child to bruise.

Damon A. Shirrel, 32, was arrested by Cherokee County Sheriff’s Deputy Bob Lewandowski for child abuse by caretaker.

Lewandowski said the case started out as an investigation by the Department of Human Services. Investigators with DHS said Shirrel was apparently punishing a 12-year-old boy for lying. When the boy would not write a sentence 500 times, promising not to lie or manipulate, Shirrel allegedly used a wooden paddle to spank the child 20 times, causing the boy’s body to bruise.

Shirrel  allegedly made 20 marks on the paddle to record the spankings, and labeled the paddle as the victim’s “unspared rod.”

Investigators at DHS contacted deputies about the case when Shirrel arrived at the Tahlequah DHS building to apply for assistance, according to Lewandowski. Shirrel told deputies he had “just spanked [the child] 10 times,” according to a report of the arrest.

Lewandowski went to the home where the alleged abuse occurred and collected the paddle as evidence.

Shirrel was given a $7,000 bond, and remained in jail at the Cherokee County Detention Center on Monday. Formal charges have not been filed.