Daytona Beach, FL – A police officer hired by Daytona Beach in May is pink-slipped and placed in handcuffs for physically abusing his 3-year-old daughter.
28-year-old John R. Barrett was still in his 18-month probationary period as a full-time officer with the Daytona Beach Police Department when he was arrested on Wednesday (September 5th) at DBPD headquarters on Valor Boulevard.
“The arrest was prompted by information received by the Department of Children and Families that Barrett had been involved in an incident of child abuse,” stated DBPD spokesperson Lyda Longa. “After a collaborative investigation between the Department of Children and Families and the Daytona Beach Police Department, Barrett was taken into custody and charged with felony child abuse without great harm.”
He is behind held without bond, according to the arrest report, which also notes that DCF was notified on Tuesday (September 4th) about an alleged incident where Barrett grabbed his daughter by her legs and threw her up against a wall, causing “significant bruising” to her left ear and head pain.
It’s not clear in the redacted report where the allegation originated from, other than it was made that day from a daycare facility in Palm Coast after staff there noticed the ear bruising.
When questioned by DCF officials the following morning, the 3-year-old said it happened in her bedroom and that her father was upset because she wouldn’t go to bed, per the report.
The girl also told investigators that her dad had never left a “boo-boo” on her before, but that he has spanked her with a book sometimes and that she’s had to tell him in the past to be nice to her.
The report noted that Barrett’s live-in girlfriend put ice on the child’s ear afterward and that the child’s mother does not live with Barrett, but there is a child custody agreement in place. The mother told DCF she didn’t know about the ear injury until daycare staff told her on Tuesday, at which point she took the child to the hospital for a check-up.
A medical exam found a “small amount” of dried blood and “significant purple and red” bruising in the child’s left ear and some more bruising on her upper left arm, per the report.
When questioned on Wednesday afternoon by DCF, Barrett and his live-in girlfriend both denied causing the child’s injuries or seeing her get hurt in any way while in their custody, but both did admit that they saw her throw up on the night of the alleged incident, prompting that investigator to call the child’s mother and advise her to seek further medical treatment.
Barrett stuck to the same story when questioned by DBPD later on that afternoon, according to the report, claiming that never saw any injury on his daughter. Detectives grew suspicious, however, when Barrett mentioned that the child never had an injury which would require ice because neither one had said anything to him before then about the child needing ice.
The report also noted that Barrett was “adamant” that he didn’t know where the injury came from, that he “smirked numerous times” during the interview and that he never “showed concern” for his daughter’s injury or asked how she was doing while talking to DBPD investigators.
Barrett’s termination is effective immediately, per Longa, but because of his status as a law enforcement officer, his mugshot is not available for public release.