By Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Ripley man accused of grabbing an 11-year-old girl by the neck, pushing her against a wall, putting pressure on her neck, and then hitting her in face with his hand appeared before a judge this week by video from the Payne County Jail, court records show.
Carl Herbert Tucker IV, 35, who is 6′ and weighs 202 pounds, remains held on $30,000 bail pending an April 19 preliminary hearing on a child abuse charge, which carries a maximum penalty of a life prison term on conviction, court records show.
A joint child abuse investigation was initiated on Feb. 5 by the Payne County Department of Human Services and the Payne County Sheriff’s Office, according to an affidavit by Sheriff’s Investigator Rockford Brown.
At 6 a.m. on Feb. 5, Tucker turned on the bedroom light of his girlfriend’s two children at their residence to wake them to get ready for school, the affidavit alleged.
When the 11-year-old girl was slow to rise, Tucker spanked her several times on the hind end, then grabbed her by the neck, pushed her against the wall and began strangling her for several seconds before hitting her with his open right hand, the affidavit alleged.
The girl said she felt light-headed after being strangled as if she might pass out, the affidavit alleged.
The girl also told medical staff at OU Children’s Hospital that she experienced difficulty swallowing and breathing after the incident, the affidavit alleged.
The girl “had soft tissue damage to the inside left upper lip, swelling on the upper left lip, and abrasions on the left side of the neck and the right side of the jaw line,” the affidavit alleged.
When the sheriff’s investigator spoke to Tucker by phone a week later, Tucker admitted he spanked the girl and open-handedly struck her in the face, but “was adamant in denying that he strangled,” the girl, the affidavit alleged.
Tucker said he lost his temper and open-handed hit the girl on the left side of her face, the affidavit alleged.
Tucker said “no, I don’t condone it, and yes I did do it,” the affidavit alleged.
The following week, Tucker turned himself in to the Payne County Sheriff’s Office and was jailed, the affidavit said.
Court records show that in 2012 another woman obtained an emergency protective order on behalf of her children in Payne County that was served on Tucker in the Noble County Jail where he was being held on a domestic abuse misdemeanor charge, for which he was placed on two years’ probation on his no contest plea.
In her EPO petition, the woman, who said she was Tucker’s ex-fiancée, wrote “We were sitting at a picnic table at Lake McMurtry and I asked my daughter (age 7) a question. She refused to answer and gave me a dirty look. Carl picked up a stick and made her bend over. He swatted her on the butt with the stick and then grabbed her by the arms and started berating her. I told him that it was enough and tried to get in between them. He blocked me with his body and then picked my daughter up by the forearms and started to move away.
“I picked up a grilling fork and threatened to stab him if he did not move away from my daughter. He backed away and I grabbed her hand and started walking her away. He then grabbed the fork from me and grabbed (the 7-year-old) again cupping his hand over her mouth when she screamed and started crying, lifting her off the ground, turning his back from me — at which point I punched him in the head, grabbed my daughter and took off toward the bathrooms while calling 911 and talking to dispatch.
“When the Stillwater Sheriff’s Department came, they arrested him and took pictures of bruises on my daughter’s arms and told me that he would be taken to the Noble County Jail.”