WENTZVILLE, Mo. (CN) – Police say a man forced his son to fight his girlfriend’s son to settle a dispute over a bicycle. Melvin J. Clark Jr., 30, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
Clark allegedly made the children fight in the street in front of his home on Oct. 18 after one kid pushed another off a bike. Up to four other relatives formed a circle around the boys, who are 9 and 10, and watched the fight, police say.
Clark allegedly halted the fight when a car passed by and the fight ended when one boy quit, prompting Clark to kick him in the ribs and call him a girl.
One boy hit his head on a curb during the fight and wanted to quit, but Clark forced him to continue, police say. Both boys received facial bruises.
Clark’s girlfriend and father claim the incident was blown out of proportion and that Clark did not orchestrate the fight. The girlfriend also denies that Clark kicked one of the boys in the ribs.
Clark was being held in the St. Charles County jail on $20,000 cash-only bond. Wentzville police say they are still investigating and may seek more charges. Wentzville is 40 miles west of St. Louis.