Vinita Police Officer On Paid Leave After Being Accused Of Child Abuse
VINITA, Oklahoma - A Green Country police officer is on paid administrative leave after he's accused of abusing his foster child.
"DHS contacted the sheriff's office and advised child abuse and neglect in Mayes County," said Major Rod Howell, Mayes County Sheriff's Office.
Howell said that's when deputies began looking in to Vinita police officer Cevin Smallwood.
"We were able to investigate, and interview numerous parties involved in this case," said Howell.
An affidavit said in September, Smallwood sent his six-year-old foster child to his room because the boy was sick at their Pryor home.
It states the child told investigators he hit Smallwood, and then "Cevin grabbed him by the neck and choked him" then threw him on his bed.
It said Smallwood's wife "saw Cevin choke the child" but "didn't do anything."
The boy also told investigators Smallwood slaps his adopted son "all the time."
"I hate it for both sides," Howell said.
Vinita police Assistant Chief Troy Messick tells us the allegations were "blindsiding" and the department placed Smallwood on paid administrative leave. He said Smallwood has always been a good officer.
"Our job is to be objective and fair in reporting," he said.
The affidavit said Smallwood has been a foster parent since 2016 and has fostered 18 kids with no prior problems.
We spoke with Smallwood at his home and he told us he couldn't comment on the allegations.
"These allegations to put forward, it really strikes a chord," said Howell.
The sheriff's office said Smallwood turned himself in last week and he's since bonded out.
He has a court appearance scheduled tomorrow morning in Pryor.