Veteran accused of attacking 6-year-old boy

Robert Sipes charged with Child Abuse and Battery
Posted at 11:14 PM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-30 04:16:55-04

Two pictures were posted to a Facebook page last week accusing a military veteran of violently beating a six-year-old boy.

The images show a young boy's legs covered top to bottom in bruises.

Pinellas Park Police say Robert Sipes of Pinellas Park is the person responsible.

According to the police report, on August 20, Sipes, a military veteran, hit the boy repeatedly with a belt on his buttocks and legs, then punched the boy in his thigh.

It goes on to say Sipes also hit the child violently with a pillow, sending him face first to the floor.

We tried to ask Sipes about the charges at his home Monday but he refused to talk to us. However his neighbors had plenty to say.

"I think its disgusting," said Judy Maly.

Maly lives a few doors down from Sipes. A mother herself, she can't understand what would lead anyone to punish a child that way.

"Kids don't understand being beaten, they understand if they did something wrong, you talk to them and explain to them what they did wrong and how you do it right, you don't touch them," said Maly.

Detectives say the boy was visually terrified of Sipes during interviews.

Sipes admitted to hitting the boy but did not provide a reason.

He faces charges of child abuse and aggravated battery.