PERKINS — A man charged with child abuse in Payne County paddled his 9-year-old so hard that he left bruises from the child's knees to his lower back, according to a probable cause affidavit from Perkins police.
Gannon Wade Mendez, 42, turned himself in at the Payne County jail Tuesday. He is charged with felony child abuse. The boy told police he was paddled because his parents are Oklahoma State University fans and he told children at school he likes the University of Oklahoma.
“We dispute the facts that are contained in the information,” said Cheryl Ramsey, Mendez's attorney. “We are not going to try the case in the press. We will try the case in court.”
The boy's third-grade teacher told police the boy got in trouble at school Jan. 29 for teasing another boy whose father is an OSU coach. Gannon and Angie Mendez were informed of the situation that day.
Their son missed the next day of school and showed up Jan. 31 with bruises covering his back side, according to the affidavit. A teacher saw the bruises, and authorities were brought in to investigate.
The boy told police he has been in trouble with his parents before for liking OU over OSU and said his parents made him get rid of his OU clothes.
The boy detailed repeated incidents where he was paddled by Gannon Mendez. He also said his father has bloodied his nose, sometimes by punching him in the face and other times by squeezing his nose until it bleeds. An officer also found a cut on the boy's lip. The boy said Gannon Mendez cut his lip while shoving pieces of soap in his mouth.
The boy described long workout sessions issued as punishment. He said his dad woke him up about every half-hour early Jan. 30 to make him do push-ups and jump exercises.
The boy's stepsister also was interviewed by police. She told police she has not been spanked for some time, but she often hears her stepbrother crying and screaming while he is paddled in his room. She said Angie Gannon would sit at the dining room table drinking wine while the boy was paddled.
The girl told police Gannon Mendez would pick the boy up by his hair and carry him around.
She also said she and her stepbrother were forced to run at a football field as punishment, and that the workouts would not end until her stepbrother vomited.