FILED IN: News & Politics

Elected California official caught on tape beating step-son

Anthony Sanchez, a California water official, caught on tape allegedly abusing his step-son. Screen shot via GMA.

The neighbor of a an elected water agency official in California went to police after he captured the man, Anthony Sanchez,  beating his young step-son after he failed to catch a baseball that was thrown to him by Sanchez. The father and step-son looked to be playing a game of catch in the backyard of their El Centro, California home when Sanchez walked over to the boy and beat him repeatedly with a belt.

The incident has lead to Sanchez’ arrest and resignation of his post as water director. Sanchez was arrested last Friday on suspicion of felony child abuse.

The neighbor, Oscar Lopez, shared the video with Good Morning America saying he decided to video-tape the incident after witnessing Sanchez berating his young step-son. The football coach, who instructs children about anti-bullying techniques, says he was deeply disturbed by the incident and felt it was so shocking and wrong, he had to go to police.

Lopez told GMA, “No child should feel alone when bullied.”

Heard on the tape is an exchange between Sanchez and Lopez, with Lopez yelling, “That’s enough!”

Although it’s unclear what Sanchez said, it sounds like he asked Lopez if he had a problem with him. Lopez said, “I have a problem…for beating the (expletive) out of him because he won’t catch the damn ball!…I am a father too!”

Lopez says his intention in filming the incident was to hand over the video to police and advocate for the safety of Sanchez’ son.

Sanchez’ attorney says the video was taken out of context and purports the truth to be revealed in court.