A 37-year-old pastor is facing an assault and battery charge after he said he nudged a boy to get his attention.
BROCKTON — A city pastor is facing an assault and battery charge after he told police he “nudged” a child out of frustration, police said.
Onyedikachi Enebechi, 37, is being summonsed to court on an assault and battery charge related to a Nov. 11 incident at the Winners City Church.
Police responded to the church, at 288 North Main St., about 1:30 p.m. last Sunday to investigate a report of an assault and battery.
Officers interviewed a 5-year-old child, in his mother’s presence, who told police he was slapped in the face during a Bible study because he was talking to his cousin.
Brockton police told The Enterprise that the boy said he was talking to his cousin when he wasn’t supposed to be.
The child did not require medical attention, but his parents say the child’s face was visibly red from the incident.
The boy’s father, Vernon Ford Jr., sent a photo of his son, Jaynel Ford, to The Enterprise on Thursday, which he said showed the redness after the boy was hit.
The left side of the young boy’s face had a visible circular red mark on his cheek.
The photo was taken by Jaynel’s mother, Ford said, right after the incident. She was in a different part of the church at the time when the boy, along with his 11-year-old brother, went to her holding his face.
“I just want justice,” Ford told The Enterprise. “If he was just talking during prayer and he’s that angry that he has to smack my child, this guy has problems.”
The mother said her son was crying when he went to her and said the teacher had slapped him.
Although Enebechi was referred to as a pastor in the police report, Ford said he’s just a Sunday schoolteacher.
Vernon Ford was not at the church on Sunday when the incident occurred and said he hasn’t attended for months, but that his children “will absolutely not” be going back with their mother.
“Even if we go with the teacher’s story that he nudged him, he has no business doing that,” Ford said. “He has no business putting his hands on my son. Period.”
Police say they spoke to Enebechi, who claimed he “nudged the child with two fingers out of frustration” to get the child’s attention.
As a result, Enebechi was issued a summons on a charge of simple assault and battery.
The church’s phone was not working as of Friday morning. Other attempts to reach Enebechi were not immediately successful.
Enebechi will be arraigned at a later date in Brockton District Court.