A father of four was arrested after a camera apparently caught him pushing his daughter down a flight of steps because she “argued with [her] brother,” according to reports.
The father, identified only as Artem from Ukraine, was questioned by officials after the video footage appeared on Facebook, reported The Daily Mail. Local reports said she only received bruises in the incident.
In the video (which can be accessed at the bottom of the article), Artem is seen pulling the girl out of a supermarket in Rivne Oblast, Ukraine.
According to the child's grandmother, the man is 'a good father' but 'had a little nervous breakdown' at a supermarket
Later, he drags the girl by the arm before throwing her down the steps.
According to the Mail, Artem said his daughter lost her grip and fell down. However, shopworkers said that he threw the girl down the steps.
“The video drew the attention of the police after being posted on Facebook,” Police spokeswoman Zoriana Melnyk told the news outlet. “Thanks to the local residents, the man was quickly identified. The police visited the man’s family and his wife recognized him and their daughter in the video.”
The girl can be seen walking back into the store. However, none of the passersby intervene to assist her.
Artem said that his daughter and 3-year-old brother began to argue over who could push a shopping cart, and when he failed to calm them down, he got angry before grabbing the girl.
“I just wanted to take her aside but when we were on the porch she pulled her arm out and fell,” he claimed.
On YouTube, where the video was posted, a number of people said they don’t believe his claims that she fell down.
“In the video you clearly see him throw her down the stairs,” one woman wrote.
“HE HAS THE POTENTIAL TO SERIOUSLY HARM HIS KIDS,” another person exclaimed. “If he does that in public what does he do in private,” asked another.
Father is arrested for ‘throwing daughter, six, down flight of steps https://t.co/XS7fFsGI7f
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) April 1, 2019
The father was charged with neglect and is now facing a trial, according to the Mail. If found guilty, he could face up to one year of penal labor.
“The girl will be registered as a child who experienced abuse from her parent and her living conditions are going to be monitored by social service workers,” said Alla Ilyina, the head of Child Protective Service in the region, was quoted by the Mail as saying.
The girl’s grandmother and Artem’s mother, Galyna Stonogova, said he is a “good father” but suffered a “little nervous breakdown.”
“His [Artem’s] wife was in hospital for a week and he had to deal with four little children on his own,” she said. “I do not say that he was right but I think he did it because of tiredness and exhaustion. He is a good father but everybody can have a little nervous breakdown.”
And another woman, his neighbor, said she doesn’t believe he is capable of such a thing.
“I have often seen him playing with his children. I could not believe he had done such a thing until I saw the video,” she was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying.
The video can be seen here (WARNING: Disturbing footage).