NEW PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) - A Pasco County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested after investigators say he choked a 7-year-old girl and repeatedly hit her as a punishment for lying.
A PCSO arrest affidavit says 29-year-old Deputy Ryan Robert Ferguson was charged with child abuse after the incident, which reportedly took place at a home in the 8700 block of Citizens Drive last Sunday.
According to investigators, the child said it started with Deputy Ferguson pouring soap in her mouth because she told a lie, and then he became violent.
She said he threw her onto the couch and spanked her, then dragged her onto the tile floor, and held her down by her neck- choking her- as he repeatedly hit both sides of her face.
A doctor later told investigators that the girl’s injuries- redness to the face and bruising to her jawline, eyes and forehead –were consistent with her story.
The girl’s 4-year-old brother also told officials he witnessed the incident.
During questioning, investigators say Deputy Ferguson told them he had only spanked her buttocks, and that her other injuries were from a shopping cart falling on top of her.
A doctor later shot down his story, saying her injuries were “without a doubt from a violent and severe beating about the face, as well as choking”, the sheriff’s office said.
Deputy Ferguson was arrested four days after the incident, on March 17, after he reportedly refused to leave his home and cooperate with PCSO’s investigation.