Waynoka man charged with child abuse

A Waynoka man is charged with felony child abuse after police say he encouraged a fight between two underage girls.

Court records show on April 5 about 10:51 p.m. Waynoka Police Officer Adam Barlow was contacted by Police Chief Misty Smiley. A woman had contacted Smiley to say her daughter informed her that there had been a fight at her house on Rose Street.

Barlow arrived on scene and observed a group of girls and an older man standing near the front door. The man, identified as Jarod Cunningham, was standing outside only in his underwear. Barlow states as he walked up he could hear Cunningham saying if his kids wanted to fight, he was going to let them fight. When Barlow asked Cunningham what happened, he said he didn’t want his daughter speaking to police without himself being around. With Cunningham nearby, Barlow talked to the 16-year-old daughter who said she and her friend, also 16, had gotten into a fight but they had settled their problems and were fine now.

Barlow observed both girls had bleeding scrapes on their knees. He was told the problem began during the Waynoka Snake Hunt festival when the two girls had a disagreement involving a boy. The Cunningham girl said she invited the other girl to her house to fight because she wasn’t going to fight in public. The other girl came to her house, and they both agreed to fight.

Barlow spoke with the other girl, learning the identity of her parents. They were contacted, and Barlow waited until the mother arrived to question the girl. However, he asked Waynoka EMS to come and check on her as she was a minor without a parent present and there appeared to be some swelling on her head.

After the mother arrived, Barlow talked to the girl. The girl’s mother said she wanted to press charges.

On April 17, Officer Barlow was contacted by Woods County Undersheriff Keith Dale who said a neighbor had captured the event on surveillance cameras posted on his residence. On April 24 Barlow requested a copy of the video and the neighbor supplied it.

Barlow watched the video recording, which showed the front yard of the residence where the fight occurred. According to the affidavit in the case, during the fight Cunningham can be seen stepping out of the front door in only his underwear. He is quoted from the video: “There you go, there you go. Yeah get her, yeah get her.” After one girl complains about her head being slammed on the concrete sidewalk during the fight, Cunningham is quoted, “That’s alright!” As the fight continues, Cunningham is heard encouraging his daughter, “There you go you got her now, stay on top. Straddle, straddle, knee.” Cunningham is heard asking the other girl, “Are you done?” Then he tells his daughter, “She ain’t done, wrap her up.” He is also heard saying, “Hit her in the face,” according to the affidavit.

Jarod Cayne Cunningham, 39, of Waynoka, has been charged with child abuse, a felony, for willfully and maliciously threatening harm to the health, safety or welfare of a child under the age of 18 by encouraging and coaching his minor daughter, age 16, to fight another child. This crime is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding life, or by a fine of $500 to $5,000, or both such fine and imprisonment.

Cunningham’s next appearance in court has been set for June 11.

 

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