ELLERBE — A man accused of dangerous driving with his young son in the car faces a child abuse charge in Richmond County.
Wilson Eugene Chappell III, 31, of 906 Jones Springs Church Road outside Ellerbe, was charged with misdemeanor child abuse on Saturday. A complainant told authorities Chappell drove erratically with his son in the car, causing the boy to hit his head on the dashboard when Chappell slammed on the brakes, according to an arrest warrant.
Chappell did not have the boy restrained in a child seat and was driving at high speeds, the warrant states.
Sarah Chappell gave testimony to a Richmond County magistrate who issued the warrant for Wilson Chappell’s arrest on Saturday. Court records do not indicate that a law enforcement agency investigated the complaint.
Wilson Chappell is scheduled to appear in district court on the charge June 9. The magistrate issued a subpoena requiring Sarah Chappell to testify in the case.
A parent or caregiver is guilty of misdemeanor child abuse in North Carolina if he or she inflicts or allows injuries to be inflicted or “creates or allows to be created a substantial risk of physical injury,” according to N.C. General Statute 14-318.2.
The charge is a Class A1 misdemeanor carrying a maximum sentence of 60 days’ incarceration or community punishment for someone with no previous criminal history under state structured sentencing guidelines.