Domestic assault and battery charges have been brought against a Woodbridge, Virginia, man who police say recorded himself boxing his 17-year-old son and shared the footage on Facebook.
In the graphic five-minute video, Tavis Sellers is seen repeatedly slugging his son in the face during what the dad described as “teenage discipline 101” for skipping class.
“I know teachers can be [expletive] up, so I let him know he can walk out of class, but call me so I’m on your side,” he says in the clip. “All day went by, he didn’t call. So now, it’s discipline time because he didn’t do what I told him to do.”
The video footage shows the father and son sparring inside what appears to be their living room, each wearing boxing gloves, before the teen retreats to wash his face in a nearby sink. When he returns moments later, Mr. Sellers forces his visibly bloodied and bruised son to apologize on camera to his teacher for walking out of class as he wipes tears from his face.
The video was originally broadcast live on Facebook, and an archived version on social media has since been viewed more than 1 million times.
Authorities became aware of the video Thursday and launched an investigation that culminated in charges being filed that day against Mr. Sellers, a local CBS affiliate reported. The father surrendered early Friday morning and was released on $5,000 bond.
Mr. Sellers told Fox News’s D.C. affiliate that their family is a “boxing family” and it is “no one’s place to judge how he takes care of his business in his house.” He admittedly busted his son’s lip and gave him a bloody nose but claimed the injuries weren’t long-lasting.
The teen was removed from Mr. Seller’s home and is being cared by another family member pending the police investigation, Fox News reported.