GREELEY - A Greeley couple has been charged with child abuse after video of them slapping and shaking their 1-year-old baby surfaced this week.
Video obtained by 9NEWS shows 21-year-old Reba Doyle slapping her baby three separate times, while her 23-year-old boyfriend, Scott Liles, shakes the baby for crying.
Greeley police say a friend recorded the incident. The couple are both facing misdemeanor child abuse charges.
"It's horrifying that people would just do that," Charity Bailey said.
Bailey saw the video and called police. Thursday, she showed the video to 9NEWS.
"She turns around and just smacks her so hard in the jaw, that you can hear it. [Doyle] tells her, 'That's enough!" Bailey said, describing the video.
Her friend, who had been sitting on the couch with Doyle and Liles, took the video.
"She brought the video over the other night. I saw it, and I immediately called the cops," Bailey said.
The arrest affidavit says that Bailey's friend, Amanda Sanders, had noticed since summertime that Doyle had been hitting her baby.
According to the affidavit, Sanders went to social services with the allegations but was turned down for lack of evidence.
So, Sanders recorded the video in September while she was sitting on the couch with the couple and the baby.
"It's heartbreaking to watch. I think that it's probably the best word to describe this," Greeley Police Sgt. Susan West said. "In this case, it ends up being a misdemeanor child abuse charge, but it could end up being much more serious."
The affidavit says the couple initially denied the abuse allegations to police but quickly recanted when they were shown the video.
"She stated she could not even go in the same room as her child the rest of that day, and she felt horrible about it and has completely changed her ways since then," the arrest affidavit reads.
Charity Bailey says she has no regrets about showing police the video.
"What's going to happen if nobody does anything? If everybody minds their own business?" Bailey said. "Nobody can speak for that child, so somebody has to."
The Medical Director from the Kempe Center, who deals with child abuse cases, says 1 in every 150 kids who are shaken will suffer from brain damage.
"If you did that sort of hitting to someone else it would be criminal assault and it should be criminal assault on a child even if it is your own child," Dr. Desmond Runyan said.
Runyan says the appropriate thing to do is to pick up the baby, give it some attention or move it to its bed and set it down.
"Children at that age can't possibly learn a lesson. Telling them to stop crying is worthless. Slapping them on the face is just going to make them cry more," Runyan said.
If someone you know might be on the verge of losing control - please help point them to the resources on this website:http://www.calmacryingbaby.org/
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