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May 16, 2014

3 arrested after social media video shows child being kicked in the head

KONAWA, Okla. — Three people in Oklahoma were arrested after a violent video showing a teenager kicking a child in the head several times was posted to a social media site.

Arrested were a 15-year-old male whose name was withheld because he is a minor, along with 28-year-old Joshua Whittington and 33-year-old Tracy Casteel, all of Konawa, Oklahoma.

In the video, posted to Instagram on Wednesday, an 8-year-old-boy wearing a football helmet is seen being kicked in the head several times by the 15-year-old after he gets a running jump each time. After the second kick, the little boy begins crying.

A caption under the video, which was removed from Instagram Thursday evening, read: "what this kid will do for a piece of gum."

Konawa Assistant Police Chief Jason Teel said the 8-year-old is Whittington's son and the 15-year-old is Casteel's son. According to Teel, Whittington and Casteel are in a relationship. He said police believe Whittington was holding the camera while a female voice heard in the background is believed to be Casteel's.

The victim, along with two other children in the home, were taken into state custody and placed with family members. Teel said the 8-year-old appears to have no serious injuries, but he does have bruising to his neck and chest.

All three were arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault, and Whittington and Casteel were also arrested on suspicion of child abuse and enabling child abuse, Teel said.

Teel said Konawa police were notified by the Department of Human Services on Thursday and, after a short investigation, made the arrests. The 15-year-old was taken to a juvenile detention facility in El Reno, Oklahoma and is being held without bond, Teel said.

"It makes us feel good, with a case like this, that we can get after them and get them arrested within a short period of time," he said. "We had them arrested about two hours into the investigation."

Mitchell writes for The Ada News in Ada, Oklahoma.

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