A man who was elected to direct a California water agency was arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse after a neighbor caught him on video beating his stepson.
The video shows Anthony Sanchez, 34, playing catch with his stepson. When it appears the boy drops the baseball, Sanchez approaches and allegedly whips him with his belt.
An outraged neighbor, Oscar Lopez, filmed the incident from inside his home and knew he had to step in.
“That’s enough. I’m having a (expletive) problem with you for beating the (expletive) out of him because he won’t catch the damn ball,” Lopez tells the angry stepfather.
Sanchez asks if he knows his son.
“I don’t know your son but I’m watching you. I’m a (expletive) father too,” Lopez says.
“Why don’t you come over here and teach me?” Sanchez replies.
Lopez posted the video online and gave it to authorities. Sanchez, who is the director of the Imperial Irrigation District, turned himself in to authorities on Friday and posted a $100,000 bond.
An attorney for Sanchez acknowledged the video is disturbing to watch but urged people to wait until more details are revealed instead of reaching conclusions.
But Lopez said he knew what he saw and was glad he stopped the abuse.
“You don’t have to be a police officer to stop something,” he said. “Just speak up.”