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Phoenix father accused of beating sons with belt

Posted at 11:25 AM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-15 19:27:48-05

A Phoenix man is facing child abuse charges accusing him of abusing his two sons, ages 5 and 3, according to court documents .

The five-year-old boy went to school on Jan. 26 and asked his teacher for some ice because his eye hurt. The teacher noticed bruising and swelling to the boy's eye and reported it to the school counselor.

The boy told police his father, 39-year-old William Terrell Harris, punched him in the face. The boy also said Harris hit him with a belt and pointed to his left back rib section, which was bruised and swollen.

The boy also told the officer that his little brother, age 3, was also abused by Harris.

Police noticed the three-year-old boy had "red welts and bruising resembling the end tongue of a belt"  on his outer knee and arm.

Police arrested Harris the next day at his apartment.

Harris admitted to hitting the 5-year-old with a wet towel and believed that probably caused the bruising. He said he was mad at the child because, "he only put one sock on, instead of two," according to court records.

Harris said he didn't remember punching the child in the eye, but didn't deny it either. He did acknowledge seeing the injury to the boy's eye and "pressed on it kinda hard," he was quoted as saying.

Police say the incidents happened while the children's mom was at work.

The Department of Child Services took custody of the two children and Harris is facing two counts of child abuse.