While the family from Italy were spending the day at Epcot in central Florida, police allege the father kicked his son in the face while the child was sitting, strapped in a stroller.
The alleged incident happened Saturday afternoon at the Mexico exhibit at Walt Disney World's Epcot theme park. Dario Napolitano, 41, his wife, and two sons were visiting Florida from their native Italy.
The Daily Mail reports that according to police, witnesses saw the family arguing, followed by Napolitano kicking his three-year-old son who was in the stroller, already crying. During the altercation, the boy's mother was yelling "No, no, no!" An Epcot employee approached the group and noticed the boy with a bloody face, now crying hysterically. The employee called 911 and Orange County deputies arrived and charged Napolitano with one count of child abuse.
The child suffered a cut below his left eye, bruising above it, and the eye was swollen.
According to Central Florida News, the parents told a different story than what the witnesses said they saw. While the father admitted slapping his other son twice, he blamed the younger son's injuries on the boy's brother. The parents, speaking through an interpreter, told police, "He yelled at him a second time to stop and he complied throwing [the younger son] out of the stroller on the ground. He went up to his son [the older son] and slapped him twice across the face because he hurt his brother."
WFTV reported the reactions of witnesses in the park who say they saw Napolitano kick the little boy. John Cissio said, "I wouldn't kick my sons in the face for anything. It doesn't matter if he was at Disney or if he was in church. If he's going to kick his son in the face, there's something wrong with him." Kristin Collins stated the obvious— "There's clearly other ways to punish a child or correct a child's behavior."
The three-year-old was treated at the scene because his parents refused to allow him to be taken to a hospital. And the good doctor informed police that in his medical opinion, the child didn't need to go to a hospital.
Napolitano was released from the Orange County Jail on $2,000 bond.