The video below is highly disturbing. It shows adults egging on two crying infant boys to get them to fight each other. An unidentified soldier at Fort Bragg, North Carolina is now under investigation. Alicia Scheideger, the boy’s mother, told ABC News her ex-husband, had custody of her son and she reported him after finding the video.
On the video, you can hear the male adult say “Go on, hit him back. I don’t care.” When one of the boys tries to crawl away, the other one goes after him and continues punching and slapping him as the boy cries and covers himself with his arms — trying to fend off the attack.
The father wis a soldier in the Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C. There are a variety of charges that might be brought against the soldier from child endangerment to child abuse to battery. He can also be sued civilly for these actions for battery, negligence, and infliction of emotional distress (both intentional and negligent).
The video reminds one of the recent controversy over the video showing David Motari, a now ex-Marine Lance Corporal, showing a puppy off a cliff in Afghanistan, here. The sheer cruelty of the act (like the video with the toddlers) raises serious questions of fitness for a Marine or soldier. If this soldier lacks the judgment and humanity that he encourages his own son to beat another toddler or to be beaten himself, he surely lacks the judgment and humanity to carry out the duties of a soldier in combat situations. If a soldier would turn toddlers into Gerber gladiators, it suggests that he view of appropriate or necessary levels of violence is fundamentally flawed.
This, however, is not a unique circumstance. Recently, a mother was criminally charged in Indianapolis iafter a neighbor allegedly witnessed her encouraging her son to fight another boy with a stick,here.