Two Florida police officers are being investigated for allegedly jailing their 3-year-old son over potty training accidents, according to reports.
The child was jailed twice in October 2022. Bodycam footage obtained by local media showed the child’s father, a lieutenant with the Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety, being interviewed by a state child abuse investigator.
“He was crying. I was getting the response I expected from him,” the father said, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.
The child was reportedly handcuffed a second time he was jailed.
“The city strives to always be open and transparent, however due to the court order that was issued to the city, we are unable to comment at this time. If anything should change, we would be happy to discuss,” Daytona Beach Shores public information officer, Tammy Marzik, wrote in an email to The Associated Press.
The mother, a detective with the police department, told the investigator she didn’t believe they did anything wrong, adding that “it’s just people getting it twisted.” She also called the investigation “the definition of insanity.”
“We’ve tried books, we’ve tried running around without pants, you name it we’ve tried it,” the father told the investigator.
He said he eventually confronted his son.
“I said you know what I do for a living,” the father explained. “I said I’m a cop. I take bad boys to the jail that don’t follow the law. So that’s what I did. I said you know you aren’t following the rules, let’s go to jail.”
He said he checked the cell for contraband before putting the child inside. The boy was inside for 13 minutes and the father watched him the entire time, he said.
The father said the boy’s mother had placed him in the cell the day before, for about three minutes. The tactic worked: The child made good on his promise not to have any more accidents, the father told investigators.
The father also said he did the same thing to his older son nine years ago when the child admitted to hitting a girl in preschool.
“I took him to the jail and he sat there. And I watched him … and he was crying and everything, and to this day, if you mention, like, that incident, he’s just like, ‘I would never do that again.’ It was effective,” the father said. “So that’s why I did it with this. He didn’t hit anybody, but I figured the same thing, discipline.”
Fox News Digital has reached out to the city and the officers’ attorney.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.