PROVO — Police arrested a father who allegedly confessed to kicking his 4-year-old child and "going beyond discipline" with his actions.

Police responded to the American Fork Hospital Wednesday, where they found a 4-year-old boy with a bruised ear, scratches on his face and neck and hemorrhaging around the eyes and face, indicative of being choked, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in 4th District Court.

"Apparently there has been a little bit of previous (abuse), but this has been the worst," said Pleasant Grove Police Lt. Michael Smith.

Police interviewed the boy, who said his dad got mad at him because his little brother was crying and the dad thought he had caused it, Smith said.

The boy said his dad came into the bedroom and said he was "going to beat the crap out of him," then bit his ear and covered his mouth and nose with his hand, according to the affidavit. The father then allegedly threw him on the bed and kicked him in the stomach.

The child has since been released from the hospital with no long-term effects, Smith said.

The lieutenant said the child's mother had been out of the home that morning but took the child to the hospital on her return just after 8 a.m. Police found the man at his work and arrested him for investigation of child abuse.

"He was cooperative," Smith said. "He knew the child had been taken to the doctor; I don't believe he knew the police had been called, but he wasn't surprised to see the police. He knew why we were there."

Officers pointed out all the boy's injuries and the father denied biting his son's ear but confessed to covering his face and threatening the child, the affidavit states. He also stated to police that he did kick his son but thought he kicked him in the neck.

The man was booked into the Utah County Jail on $5,000 cash or bond bail.

He will be in court again Thursday at 8:30 a.m.

Smith reminded parents to control their anger and avoid getting into situations like this.

"If they've hit the point where they are losing control and want to do this to their child, step back and get out of that situation," Smith said. "Step back and think about it."

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