A Deer Park, Texas stepfather is speaking out after he was arrested and charged for slapping his stepdaughter’s alleged bully in the face.
As Dearly previously reported, James Peace was charged with felony injury to a child after he slapped the 12-year-old with an open hand.
According to ABC 13, Peace’s stepdaughter called him for a ride one day as she was walking home from school after reportedly being mocked by the 12-year-old and his friends.
Peace’s wife explained:
“Saying that her body was ugly, said that she was a transvestite, started throwing ice cream at her and then they picked up the rocks.”
Peace’s stepdaughter, Presleigh Rigney, told KTRK that she asked the alleged bully to “stop a couple of times”:
“He was calling me transgender and saying I had no chest. He was saying just a bunch of mean things and it was very hurtful.”
After picking his stepdaughter up, Peace came across the 12-year-old walking and stopped to confront him about his behavior.
As Deer Park Police Lutenient Chris Brown told ABC 13, that’s when the assault took place, which was also captured by nearby surveillance cameras:
“He was slapped across the face with an open hand, had red marks and swelling to his cheek and upper jaw.”
Now the dad is sharing a part of his side of the story.
In an interview with KTRK, Peace said he lost his cool when the 12-year-old started getting mouthy with him:
“I went up and talked to him and he kept running his mouth. If he was talking to me like that, imagine how he was talking to her.”
Peace added that he knows there is protocol when it comes to dealing with bullies, but that he wanted to attempt to take care of the situation himself.
And according to Peace, the 12-year-old admitted to his actions during their exchange:
“He had been bullying and messing with her all day. He did admit that to me.”
However, Peace also apologized for getting physical, saying, “I am sorry for that. I wish I would have approached it differently”:
“I wish I could go back and change it, but like I said if it was any of my kids I would handle them immediately as soon as I got a story about that.”
Rigney wants other people going through a similar situation to know that they aren’t alone and that it is okay to talk to somebody and ask for help, rather than holding it all in.