A Ferriday, La., man was arrested earlier this week after disturbing video posted on social media showed him repeatedly striking a young girl with a belt before shaving her head, apparently as a punishment for downloading Snapchat.
Alex J. Harrison, 30, was taken into custody Monday on a probation-and-parole hold on charges of cruelty to a juvenile, the Natchez Democrat reports.
The video, which was posted on Snapchat, Facebook and YouTube, showed a man in a red shirt, whom police believe to be Harrison, holding a long brown belt in his hand as he stands above the girl, who is kneeling by a couch. The man hits the child with the belt hard, more than 50 times, as the girl screams and flinches.
As the man beats the little girl, another person, presumably the person who is filming, can be heard yelling insults and encouraging the man, the Democrat notes.
Throughout the beating, Harrison can be heard yelling, “You want to be grown!?”
Another video followed the first, showing the little girl sitting on a chair, holding her hands over her face as the same man takes a razor and shaves her head.
“You want to act like you grown,” the man behind the camera taunts before ridiculing the young girl’s hygiene and saying she didn’t even know how to change her tampon. “You ain’t grown.”
In one final video uploaded to Facebook, an unidentified speaker begins yelling at the crying girl, who is sitting on a couch with her head partially shaved.
“Look at me,” the speaker behind the camera said. “This is what happens when you get grown. You see that? ... This how you do, huh? Look at the camera. This is what you do. Now go in there and get yourself together. See if you want to be grown.”
In one video, he mentioned that the girl was being punished for downloading Snapchat.
Toward the end of the video, as the little girl leaves the room, someone off-camera laughs, the Democrat notes.
“After reviewing the video from my experience in this business, we determined that the child was abused,” Ferriday Police Department Detective Richard Madison said, though he declined to discuss further details of the case.
Juvenile investigator Bo Stephens was handling the case and said that without a doubt, this was abuse.
“There is a proper way to discipline children,” Stevens said. “This was above and beyond that.”
Madison also declined to reveal the girl’s age or her relationship to Harrison.
According to the Democrat, Harrison has an active online presence with several accounts in his name on various social media sites and dating websites, and he even has a personal website.
Back on Aug. 25, Harrison was arrested on charges of driving under suspension and had three bench warrants out for failure to appear in court. He had also been arrested in 2015 on violating a protective order. Prior to that, he was arrested in 2012 on charges of being in possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, illegal discharge of a weapon and obstruction of justice.
Read more at the Natchez Democrat.
Update: 5/5/20, 2:20 p.m. ET: This story has been updated to remove broken and nonexistent URLs, as well as a broken video player.