A West Plains man has been charged with abuse or neglect of a child and first degree endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly using a wooden paddle to discipline a 5-year-old, causing bruising.

A summons has been issued for Christopher W. Swanson, 26, Washington Avenue.

West Plains Police Officer Brandon Romans reported Swanson sent a text message to the child’s mother on July 6 telling her he may have spanked the child “a little too hard with the paddle,” adding, “But she’s been the biggest brat all weekend.”

The child was reportedly returned to the mother the next day and there was a large bruise on her left hip area, said Romans. Two days later the girl was examined at the South Central Child Advocacy Center and the bruise was still visible, according to court documents.

Swanson admitted to using a wooden paddle to discipline the child and the paddle has since been disposed of, according to court documents.      

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