A 37-year-old Columbus man denies punching an 11-year-old girl at their Boxwood area home after hot soup spilled on his son.
Christian Hardy pleaded not guilty to one count of second-degree cruelty to children. Judge Mary Buckner ordered Hardy held on $1,500 bond in the Muscogee County Jail and bound the charge over to Muscogee Superior Court.
Police Cpl. Kyle Tuggle said the mother of the girl entered the home and found Hardy punching the girl in the face around 5:20 p.m. Monday. The girl was eating a bowl of hot soup at the time.
The mother told the judge that Hardy is “old school” in disciplining children. “I felt like he shouldn’t have whipped her,” she said. “It was something that got out of hand.”
Tuggle said he talked to the child twice but she stated that she didn’t remember what occurred. During a third interview, the officer said the girl admitted to being pulled into a bedroom where she was struck several times.
Hardy, who was represented by public defender Charles Lykins, said he didn’t strike the girl. He told the court that his 8-month-old son pulled the bowl of hot soup from the microwave and it splashed on his son and the girl.