Picture showing Davis' teeth marks on Autumn's arm
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Algood police arrested a woman for biting her 9-month-old daughter in retaliation for biting her on the forehead.
Police charged 29-year-old Stacie Marie Davis with child abuse for leaving teeth marks on her daughter's arm.
Davis said the case is being blown out of proportion.
"It was the wrong thing to do. I got some bad advice and I feel bad about it," she said.
Davis admits biting her 9-month-old daughter, Autumn on the elbow.
"She has teeth," she said. "She's a happy baby."
Like many children her age, Autumn likes to test her new teeth. Davis said she heard biting the child might discourage her from biting someone.
Police said Davis and her child were sitting on the kitchen floor when Autumn became cranky and fussy. The child bit Davis on the forehead.
"So, I bit her back," Davis said.
"It's very disturbing. The times are getting worst and we're seeing more and more of it. It's very disturbing," said Algood Police Chief Jim Eldridge.
He said a tip lead his detective to visit Davis. Eldridge showed a photograph of Autumn's arm taken nine hours after she was bitten. It shows teeth marks on the child's arm.
The image combined with Davis' confession contributed to the child abuse charge.
"This department takes this very seriously," Eldridge said.
"Well, I thought it was ridiculous. She needs prosecuting, I think," said Carlene Scott, who lives near Davis.
Scott said Davis appeared to be a good mother. She said she doesn't know what Davis could have been thinking.
"It's been very hard, very hard," Davis said.
The state placed Autumn in her father's custody, but Davis still interacts with the child. She said she made a foolish mistake, one she won't do again.
"I'm going to be strong for her and I'm going to her back. I'm going to go to court and do what I have to do and I love her," she said.
The Tennessee Department of Children's Services is investigating the incident.
Davis was booked in the Putnam County Jail, but made a $10,000 bond. She is undergoing counseling.
Many children do go through a biting phase. Psychologists recommend parents to be firm and tell their children not to bite. Parents should also have consequences such as time out or removal of a favorite toy.
Davis is due in General Sessions Court later in June.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 2:24 PM EDT2013-06-19 18:24:42 GMT
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