Father Beats Son Over iPad Purchases


Palm Coast, FL - A father already on probation for battering his wife is now facing charges for beating his son over in-application purchases made on an iPad.

Andrew Atkerson’s arrest comes following a February 3 incident at his home where he picked his son up several times and threw him into the walls, closets, and other items in the home. The son suffered bruising on multiple parts of his body, including under both eyes. 

When his mother later picked him up from school, she saw what had happened and photographed the injuries.

A report from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office says Atkerson attacked the boy after he and his brother had made a number of in-app purchases on an iPad, leading Atkerson to become irate. While talking to the Department of Children and Families about the incident, Atkerson reportedly said “I might have over punished them a little bit.”

Investigators were able to obtain an arrest warrant and apprehend Atkerson, who is now charged with felony child abuse, earning him a stay in the Flagler County Jail on $12,500 bond. FCSO says Atkerson has faced 20 different charges in two different states—Florida and California—dating back to 2004; including six for battery. In 2017, Atkerson was arrested for felony domestic battery when he attacked his wife, which was witnessed by his children.

“No child should ever have to endure what this man did to his child. It appears this man has no ability to control his rage,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Parents have the right to discipline their children but cannot go overboard, which happened in this case.”

“A more appropriate discipline would have been to restrict access to the iPad or make them do chores around the house to pay for the items they ordered, not beat their child.”

If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse, know that help is available. You can contact the Florida Department of Children & Families Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873 or visit the DCF Abuse Hotline website to submit a tip online.