Authorities in Florida say a woman is facing criminal charges after doling out a severe punishment to children staying at her home for a sleepover.
According to WESH, Erin Pierce is accused of using various objects to hit the children in an incident investigators — and other parents — are struggling to comprehend.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Fred Jones explained that multiple juveniles provided similar details.
“One girl mentioned that she was hit in the knee with a wooden spoon and another one said that she was hit with a shoe,” he said. “And then there was another victim who was held down so that she would not leave.”
A police report indicated the suspect became angry when one of the children “flipped her off.” The report also showed that officers responded to the residence after one child ran home and shared the claims.
“My son came running home to my mother and told her what was going on and called the police,” said the mother of one sleepover participant.
Caden Johnson, a 12-year-old, told Click Orlando he was one of the children targeted by Pierce.
“She came out with a belt and told me to go and she started beating me as I was going out. It hurt….She hit me worse than, like, anything.”
Police further reported that Pierce acknowledged some of the behavior, including that “she ‘popped’ the juvenile victim on the legs and butt a few times with her daughter’s belt.”
One local parent told WKMG that her son and daughter attended the slumber party.
“I just can’t imagine any parent doing that to a child,” Zabrina Tidball said.
Pierce was released after posting bond. She is expected to face four criminal counts of child abuse and one count of false imprisonment.
[Featured image: Erin Pierce, Lake County Sheriff’s Office]