Oak Hill man arrested on child abuse charges


OAK HILL, Fla. - An Oak Hill man was arrested Thursday on charges of child abuse and battery after allegedly hitting two children during an argument, according to Volusia County sheriff's investigators.

Investigators said, Jeffrey Cleaves, 53, was arrested after a 12-year-old girl said Cleaves hit her, and said the man smacked and fought with a 15-year-old girl.

According to investigators, the 12-year-old said the incident started when she attempted to explain to Cleaves she was having trouble in school and he believed she was talking back to him.

Investigators said when deputies arrived at the Barberry Drive home they could hear Cleaves, who was inside the house, yelling and cursing.

According to investigators, the 15-year-old said that she and a 4-year-old were with Cleaves in his vehicle earlier when he stopped at a bar. The girl told investigators Cleaves had at least three drinks and after leaving the bar was speeding and swerving while driving.

Cleaves laughed when the teen asked him to slow down, according to investigators.

Deputies said, when Cleaves was arrested he told them he could discipline his children any way he wanted to as long as he does not leave bruises,

Cleaves was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach with no bond.