HOBART | A Hobart woman repeatedly struck her 9-year-old autistic son with a butterfly net after he ran into a neighbor's yard, police said.
Tabitha R. Castaneda, 30, was charged Tuesday with battery through Lake Criminal court.
An employee with the Indiana Department of Child Services told police she was investigating a report that a 9-year-old Hobart boy had been struck several times with a butterfly net on Oct. 6, court documents state.
The child services employee said the boy arrived at school on the morning of Oct. 6, told a teacher what had happened and the teacher contacted state officials.
The boy said he had been outside in his front yard attempting to catch butterflies with his net when he chased one into the neighbor's yard.
His mother had previously told him he was not allowed to go into the neighbor's yard because they have a large dog.
Because he went into the neighbor's yard, he said his mother brought him inside the house, where she struck him in the upper right thigh causing bruising, court documents state.
Castaneda admitted she had struck her son but said she was just "horse playing."
The child services official provided police with four photographs showing the injury of a bruise in the shape of the butterfly net, a front facial shot of the boy and two shots of the butterfly net used.