Police: Surprise man accused of punching boy in the face

- A valley man is accused of doing the unthinkable -- hitting an 8-year-old boy in the face and knocking out several of his teeth.

The child's mother is talking to FOX 10 about what happened and why she believes the man should still be in jail.  

Michelle Messina tells us she's still in shock over what happened to her son.  She will now be suing to help pay for medical bills and filing a restraining order against the man.

Messina is still fearful being in the area where her son was assaulted days earlier.  She says her son Dante was at a playground near their Surprise home on Wednesday around 6:30 p.m. before coming into the house screaming.

"I just went running out of my house, he was laying right here on the ground and he was just crying that some big man hit him," she said.

That man, police say, is Jason Overholts, 36.  He told police his older son and Dante were fighting and his younger son ran and told him.

Police say this is when Overholts went outside and punched the little boy in the face, fracturing bones and leaving him with broken teeth.  Officers also found bite marks on his arm.

"The dentist.. they did the repair work today and it's just going to be continuous. Those could get knocked out at any time and he'll have to get them done again. Those are his adult teeth," said Messina.

The police report says Overholts was in tears -- remorseful -- and says he was only protecting his sons because Dante is always picking on them.

Overholts is now being charged with aggravated assault on a minor, aggravated assault causing serious injury and disorderly conduct.

"I don't want him at the park anymore, especially knowing they released him the next morning, and the man lives right here next to the park just a few houses down. I don"t even want my son over here," said Messina.

We did reach out to Overholts, but we weren't able to reach him.

He is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on December 29th.


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