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Dad arrested after physically preventing girl from leaving house during pandemic, police say

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SALT LAKE CITY — A man who didn't want his daughter leaving the house because of concerns over COVID-19 was arrested after police say he used too much physical force to keep her home.

The 48-year-old Salt Lake man was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail Wednesday for investigation of child abuse.

Late Wednesday, police say a 16-year-old girl wanted to leave her house, but “the father was disciplining his daughter ... by not allowing her to leave their residency due to the pandemic,” according to a police affidavit.

The girl got into an altercation with her sister and tried to leave, the affidavit states. That's when the father also stepped in.

“As the victim attempted to leave again, the (father) grabbed the victim and threw her” onto the ground and struck her multiple times to the face, according to the affidavit. “At some point, the (father) got on top the victim with his arm and applied pressure into the victim’s neck.”

Police noted that the father is “a very large man.” He is listed in jail records as 6 feet, 5 inches tall, weighing 250 pounds.

“The victim suffered substantial amount of injuries, swelling to her mouth and left side of face, bruises, pinpoint blood around the neck” from possible choking, and a bruise to her left rib, the affidavit says.

Salt Lake police detective Greg Wilking said if a family is having trouble with a son or daughter who refuses to follow directions, such as self-isolating or quarantining, they should call police.

“Physical confrontation is not the way to go,” he said.

Since the state and Salt Lake City enacted stay-at-home initiatives in an effort to decrease the spread of coronavirus, police said they have seen an increase in domestic violence-related cases.

In the latest statistics from the department, from March 30 to April 5, Wilking said Salt Lake police responded to 89 reported cases of domestic violence. Although slightly down from the previous two weeks, he said that number is still above average for the city. The last time the department had those types of numbers was the beginning of the year as the holiday season was ending, Wilking said.

Other resources include:

Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990, www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline/contact-us

Utah Domestic Violence LINKLine: 1-800-897-LINK (5465), www.udvc.org

Rape and Sexual Assault Crisis Line: 1-888-421-1100

Utah Child Abuse/Neglect Intake Line: 1-855-323-3237, dcfs.utah.gov/services/child-protective-services

Utah Adult Protective Services: 1-800-371-7897, daas.utah.gov/adult-protective-services

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255, suicidepreventionlifeline.org

SafeUT: 1-833-372-3388 (833-3SAFEUT), healthcare.utah.edu/uni/safe-ut

Utah Parent Center: 1-800-468-1160, utahparentcenter.org

The Family Support Center: 801-955-9110, www.familysupportcenter.org

Prevent Child Abuse Utah: 801-532-3404, pcautah.org

National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888, humantraffickinghotline.org

211 Utah: 2-1-1, 211utah.org