OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City police are investigating an incident at a Cinco De Mayo celebration that allegedly led to a 5-year-old boy being physically abused. 

“This disturbance happened at a city park northeast of Oklahoma City, where an adult male allegedly had slapped a child,” said MSgt. Gary Knight, with the Oklahoma City Police Department. “This came in as a 911 call, somebody saying they had heard screaming and crying coming from the park nearby.”

When officers arrived at the Dolphin Wharton Park, they found the child’s mother weeping.

She told the officer that her 5-year-old son had been slapped by Jason Caruthers at a party.

Knight told KFOR that it appears that the child had gotten into some sort of argument with Caruthers.

“For whatever reason, the man simply slapped the child across the face,” said Knight. “Hard enough to leave a mark on his face.”

The child ran to his mother, telling her he had been hit. ​

According to a police report, he had some redness and lines on the right side of his face.

Caruthers denied he hit the boy but said to police he heard the child being “disrespectful to his mom,” so Caruthers told the boy “not to be rude.”

Despite the denial, sheriff’s deputies put him in cuffs.

“He was placed under investigative detention initially and then ultimately arrested,” said Knight. 

Caruthers was later arrested and booked into the Oklahoma County Jail.