A man accused of striking a 15-year-old Irvine boy with a metal pole after the boy's parents asked him to discipline the youth on their behalf has been booked on suspicion of felony willful cruelty to a child, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
According to investigators, the parents found a lighter in the boy's possession and suspected that he had been smoking. The boy, who was not identified because of his age, was taken to the home of Paul Kim, 39, of Chino Hills, who attended the same La Habra church the family attended. Authorities said other families had used Kim to discipline their children.
Kim reportedly questioned the boy about the lighter and suspected that the teen was lying to him. "After receiving permission from the victim's father to use corporal punishment, Kim struck the child approximately 12 times with a metal pole, which was about 1 inch in diameter, on the back of the legs, causing injuries," the department said Saturday in a prepared statement.
Authorities were notified Tuesday when a school official in Irvine noticed that the boy had severe bruising on the backs of his legs. The school official filed a suspected child abuse report with Child Protective Services, and officers with the Irvine Police Department interviewed the boy and his parents at their home.