An Oklahoma man who was left to care for his girlfriend’s child as she ran errands on Saturday is suspected of causing injuries to the boy by striking him as punishment for opening a Christmas present early without permission.
Bridgette Payne enlisted her boyfriend, Wesley McCollum, to babysit her 5-year-old son Ayrian while she finished her holiday errands. At some point during the time she was out shopping McCollum allegedly used physical disciplinary measures when he noticed Ayrian had gone under the Christmas tree and opened one of the wrapped gifts.
When Payne returned home McCollum informed her that he had sent Ayrian to bed early because of his misbehavior, and she went into the bedroom to check on her son. She became highly distraught when she noticed bruises covering his body and the impression of a hand on his face as if he had been slapped. When Payne asked the child what happened she reported that he told her, “Wesley hurt me bad mama.”
When Payne confronted McCollum he allegedly told her he was trying to teach her son a lesson so that he would learn how to listen. She expressed shock that she and McCollum had been dating for 10 months period without him displaying any signs of a demeanor that would lead her to believe he would ever treat her child abusively.
Payne notified law enforcement, and 22-year-old McCollum was taken into custody and charged with child neglect and child abuse. He is being held in Okmulgee Jail, and his next court appearance is not yet known. According to reports Payne has filed a restraining order against McCollum.
If you or someone you love is suspected of child abuse, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.