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 ShawnPenter 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.