Woman charged with beating child with clothes hanger

Becky Campbell • May 1, 2014 at 9:07 PM

Johnson City police arrested a city woman Wednesday for disciplining her child with a plastic clothes hanger, which left bruises all over his body, a news release and court record said.

Ateela E. McClain, 28, 1444 E. Lakeview Drive, is charged with one count of felony child abuse in the case.

Police investigators received a complaint from the Department of Children’s Services on Wednesday about the alleged assault of an 8-year-old boy.

The DCS involvement began after the boy complained at school about leg pain and that his pants were causing him discomfort. When asked about the pain, “the child stated that his mother had struck him with a plastic coat hanger,” Johnson City Police Investigator Debbie Dunn wrote in a court document.

After the child revealed how his mother punished him, DCS was called in and looked at the child’s legs.

“An examination of the child’s person revealed significant contusions to the child’s arms, upper thighs and on his back. The child’s upper thighs appeared both swollen and bruised,” Dunn wrote in the warrant.

During the investigation, police interviewed McClain and she told them she used not one, but two, hangers to administer punishment to her child.

“She stated that during the act she broke the plastic hanger on her son and retrieved a second hanger to continue the physical discipline,” Dunn wrote.

McClain was transported to the Washington County Detention Center and held on $5,000 bond. She will be arraigned on the charge today in Sessions Court.

Follow Becky Campbell on Twitter @CampbellinCourt. Like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BeckyCampbellJCPress.

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