An Aventura man was charged with battery and child abuse Monday afternoon after witnesses said he punched his child in the face at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, according to police.
Officers were called to the restaurant at 20335 Biscayne Blvd. around 2:30 p.m., where four witnesses told them they had seen Peter Juris, 40, walking out of the restaurant carrying his child under his arm and hitting him on the back of the head, according to an arrest report.
Witnesses then saw Juris put his child in the back seat of his blue Maserati and punch him several times in the face and chest, the report said. Juris attempted to then drive away, but one of the witnesses, Victor Castillo-Martinez, 23, put himself in front of the vehicle to stop him from leaving.
When officers arrived, they found the child with bruises around both his eyes and over his face. A pair of plastic green sunglasses the child was wearing had also had the right lens knocked out, according to the arrest report.
Officers arrested Juris and charged him with battery and child abuse with no great bodily harm. Public records showed no prior arrests for Juris.
Aventura police contacted the child’s mother, who told officers she was in Coral Springs picking up her other child, the report said. Officers then released the child into the custody of a family friend, who took the child to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood to be checked for injuries.
Police redacted details about the child from the arrest report, but witnesses told WSVN that the child appeared to be about 3 years old.
CEC Entertainment, the restaurant’s parent company, issued a statement saying it was aware of the incident Tuesday: “We do not condone the type of behavior that has been reported, and support the police fully during their ongoing investigation.”
The state Department of Children and Families was notified and dispatched a child protective investigator, according to the arrest report.
Juris was booked into Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center Monday night, records show.