SALT LAKE CITY — Criminal charges were filed Thursday against a Cache County man accused of shooting his stepchildren with an airsoft gun after they woke him up.
Joshua Glen Cox, 43, of Richmond, is charged in 1st District Court with child abuse, inflicting serious injury, a second-degree felony, and child abuse, a class A misdemeanor.
On Monday, Cache County sheriff’s deputies assisted the Division of Child and Family Services in investigating a possible domestic violence case.
The mother of two children claimed Cox abused the children, including shooting them in the head with an airsoft gun and throwing boots at them, according to a police affidavit.
“(She) reported that her husband Joshua had been physically abusive to her two children, primarily to her son. ... She stated that she is tired of it and wants him to leave,” the affidavit states. “She stated it is very common for her children to have marks and bruises from Josh hitting them. She stated that he hits them in the head with his knuckles as well as punches them.”
The woman then showed investigators pictures of injuries her children suffered from being shot on Sunday with an airsoft gun. Her son had a welt on his chest and her daughter had two welts on her head, according to police.
“One welt was right in the center close to her hairline and the other was just above her right eyebrow. (The mother) stated that Joshua was upset because the children had woken him up and he shot them with the airsoft gun,” the affidavit states.
Deputies then confronted Cox about the allegations.
“Joshua admitted that he had shot the children with an airsoft gun. He stated that they were messing around at a friend’s house when this occurred. I asked Joshua where he shot the children at and he stated that he had shot them on the legs. I asked Joshua if he ever shot the children in the face or chest and he stated that he had not. I informed Joshua that I had photographs of this and he stated that he cannot remember shooting them in the face,” the deputy wrote in the affidavit.
Those who experience domestic violence can call police dispatch at 801-799-3000; the 24-hour victim advocate hotline at 801-580-7969; the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 800-799-7233; or the Utah LINKLine at 800-897-5465.