WASHINGTON - UPDATE: A Virginia father who shot video of himself boxing his 17-year-old son and posted it on social media is facing charges in the case, and FOX 5 has learned the boy has been removed from his father's house amid the investigation. CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON THIS STORY.
Tavis Sellers, who identified himself as TaDigs Ditches on Facebook, turned himself in to Prince William County Police early Friday morning at around 12:30 a.m. Sellers was charged with domestic assault and battery and was released on $5,000 unsecured bond.
A Prince William County father is in trouble with the law after he posted a video of himself boxing his teenage son. The father said he was disciplining his child while teaching him how to defend himself at the same time. But is it tough discipline or is it abuse? It depends on who you ask.
The father, who identified himself as TaDigs Ditches on Facebook, told FOX 5 he was ordered on Thursday to turn himself into the Prince William County Sheriff’s Office after he posted the video, which showed his son bloodied after the sparring. TaDigs said they are a boxing family and it is “no one's place to judge how he takes care of his business in his house.”
The video, which was posted to Facebook by the father, said he was disciplining his 17-year-old son for misbehaving in class. TaDigs mentions in the video, “He can walk out of class but call me so I’m on your side. All day went by he didn’t call – so now it’s discipline time because he didn’t do what I told him to do. He chooses to do what he wants to do.”
TaDigs then turns the camera to show him boxing with his son. The father said boxing in their family is what they do. In the video, you can hear him scolding his son about his behavior while throwing punches.
A psychologist we talked with called the video disturbing.
“It's not really teaching him a lesson except the lesson is humiliation,” said Dr. Linda McGhee, a clinical psychologist. “He's teaching a boy that you solve your problems by fighting it out with your fists. At no other place can you do that at your job or school. And second of all, it's not making a boy feel good about himself. It's humiliation.”
After the boxing ends, TaDigs focuses the camera on his son's bloody face.
“Let them know! Tell your teacher you're sorry,” said the father in the video.
TaDigs wrote in the caption for the video, “Blessings come in all forms and mines came in the form of a great young man to have as a son. I feel I would be the worst disappointment to him if I didn't do my best to deter him from choices in life that I have seen lead to destruction. The world now has given us platforms to reach out and show your efforts. A lot of people were hurt by this video. And that was not the purpose. I did it to show what has been working for ME.”
The father said he busted his son's lip and gave him a bloody nose, but nothing long-lasting.
He also told us he is being charged with domestic assault and battery. TaDigs also said if given the chance, his son would not want him to be punished.
A video following the “discipline” shows his son appearing to be okay. He continues to say that it helped him seek the right path and that he won’t be repeating the same mistake.