PERKINS, Okla. – Police in Perkins investigate a disturbing case of child abuse.
A 41-year-old father in Perkins, right outside of Stillwater, is accused of repeatedly beating his son because the boy liked OU better than OSU.
The suspect has been charged with one count of child abuse in Payne county.
According to police, after a 9-year-old boy told a classmate in school that he roots for OU not OSU, the boy’s father, Gannon Mendez, then allegedly beat the boy at home with a wooden paddle.
Investigators also claim the alleged beating in the home was not a one time crime.
Prosecutors claim Mendez would repeatedly take the boy to a football field and make him run until he puked.
An affidavit details in addition to being routinely spanked with a paddle, the suspect chopped up soap and pushed it into the victim’s mouth.
The victim also reported Mendez squeezes his nose until it bleeds, tells him he will end up in hell and would wake him up every 30 minutes through the night to do push ups.
“It’s infuriating to me to see an adult harm a child like that,” said neighbor John Hopper.
The suspect has a checkered history with OSU athletics.
In fact, he made national headlines in recent years for allegedly providing money and other benefits to Cowboys football players.
That led the university to ban players from having contact with Mendez.
Some of the suspect’s neighbors agree the rivalry between the Sooners and Cowboys is no excuse to harm a child.
“I’m an OSU booster but I would not do anything like that to a child,’ said Hopper.
Mendez is due in court for his initial appearance Tuesday in Payne county.