Counselor arrested on battery charges
An Arkansas camp counselor was arrested on nine counts of battery after he was accused of beating young campers with a switch, according to a news release.
Stone County sheriff’s deputies were called to Dump Mountain Road after getting a call about abuse at a “youth camp” at the “Bethel Church Camp,” the release said.
The phone number listed online for a Church Camp Bethel, 1123 Dump Mountain Road, was disconnected.
After investigating, authorities learned youth counselor Coty Shawn-Penter of Trumann “took it upon himself” to discipline the kids, the release said. Penter would order the children, ages 9 to 17, to do a task. If they didn’t move fast enough, he would strike them with a switch, the release said.
The campers told their parents about the abuse and had marks and bruises on their bodies, authorities said.
Penter left the youth camp before authorities arrived. A warrant was issued Wednesday, and Penter was later arrested on nine counts of third-degree battery of juveniles, the release said.