As Kaitlyn Wolf dunks her 3-year-old son’s head in a flushing toilet, video shows, the young boy appears to yell out, “Stop! No!”
Now, the Leesburg Police Department says officials with the Florida Department of Children and Families are investigating the video, which garnered just over 400,000 views on Facebook and 10,000 shares after it was posted by a woman identified as Misty Minnie Boo.
“Detectives are also working with the State Attorney’s Office to determine appropriate criminal prosecution,” the police department wrote online.
But Wolf says the video is being taken out of context and blown out of proportion. She told WESH that “it was just a joke” between her and her children — and that no one was hurt.
In fact, the Florida mother said, the video is just another example of how she plays with her two sons.
“My sons and I horseplay rough,” Wolf told WFTV. “We stuck his head in the toilet and flushed it. And my older son was recording it.”
In the video, Wolf is seen holding her 3-year-old son above the toilet by his arms — and then flushing it. As the water runs, she dangles the young boy closer to the toilet water.
“God, that’s mean,” the older boy holding the camera is heard saying.
Wolf told WFTV9 that she jokingly sent the video to her babysitter, who in turn sent it to her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend. From there, Wolf said, the video quickly spread on Facebook, eventually grabbing the attention of law enforcement.
“The police actually came on Saturday and stayed on the road because people were threatening to come here and kill me,” Wolf told WFTV9. “They have been patrolling the area.”
Dozens of comments on the Facebook video show just how angry it has made many people.
“Kids are suppose to be able to come to their mother and feel safe and loved. This is evil,” one user wrote. “How could a mother ever do this to her child? I feel so bad for this baby.”
Another person wrote, “People like this should not be parents!”
“Disgusting,” a third commenter wrote.
In defending her actions, Wolf told WESH that her son’s face “didn’t get wet.”
“It’s not a dirty toilet,” she said. “He wasn’t being tortured in any way.”
Because of that backlash, Wolf told WESH that she’s learned a lesson.
“I would never do it again,” she said. “I would never want this explosion of hate.”
In July 1989, 2-year-old Bradley McGee died after police accused his parents of holding his head under a flushing toilet and hosing him down in the yard as a punishment for having an accident in his diaper at their Florida home. Both the boy’s stepfather, Thomas Coe, and mother, Sheryl Coe, were found guilty of murder.