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Man Disciplines Grandchildren At McDonald's, Arrested

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An Alabama man was arrested after fellow diners witnessed him "excessively" disciplining his grandchildren at a McDonald's restaurant.

James Chapman, 73, of Scottsboro, Alabama, was enjoying a meal at McDonald's with his wife and two adopted grandchildren May 10, Inside Edition reported. During the family's meal, other patrons in the restaurant reportedly witnessed the man disciplining the children harshly.

"He grabbed them up by one arm, he had his finger in their face, and smacking them," witness Brian Harper said, according to AL.

Harper eventually called 911 after confronting Chapman about the way he was treating his grandchildren, who were both under the age of 10.

When police arrived at the restaurant, they spoke to witnesses and reviewed the video footage of Chapman's actions. After examining the appropriate evidence, police decided to charge the man with two counts of domestic violence.

"Multiple eyewitnesses said that this was excessive," Lt. Erik Dohring of the Scottsboro Police Department told Inside Edition. "It was deemed more than appropriate discipline but not enough to be considered child abuse."

Dohring did not reveal the specific details of what went on in the restaurant, but defined domestic violence as "any pushing, pulling, kicking, inappropriate touching."

Chapman is scheduled to appear in court June 27. Child Protective Services is currently investigating the case.

The man's attorney, Justin Lackey, told Inside Edition that his client was disciplining the children in a "lawful and reasonable" way and that Harper overreacted.

"I think the person who [called the police] did not agree with corporal punishment," he said.

"If there were more people disciplining their children instead of overreacting to people doing that kind of thing we wouldn't have near the problems that we have," Lackey said, according to AL.

The attorney added that his client was taken "for a loop" by the accusations against him.

"This is a 73-year-old man who was out eating with his wife and their grandchildren," he said. "He's raised two children and five grandchildren. There's never been anything like this before." 

Sources: Inside Edition, AL / Photo credit: Scottsboro Police Department/Inside Edition

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