GLADSTONE, Mo. -- It's one of the most shocking cases of physical abuse that the Clay County Sheriff's Office can remember. Detectives said the alleged abuser, Kirk Devine, is an active U.S. Air Force sergeant and a bishop at Trinity Missionary Full Gospel Church in St. Joseph, Mo.
Detectives said the abuse happened at a home on N.E. 62nd Place. Neighbors there said they are shocked.
"I don't know what to say. I am absolutely shocked because I feel like I was looking for things like that," said Maureen Brown.
Things like physical abuse to a 12-year-old boy who lived in that home with his father, Kirk L. Devine. Clay County Sheriff Bob Boydston said this is one of the worst cases he can remember.
"This is one that struck all of us and is one that we probably will not forget for quite some time," said Bob Boydston.
"That's amazing because then you would think you would know, so I feel terrible for him," said Brown.
Court documents claim Devine beat his son on Feb. 14, after the boy had gotten a progress report showing two bad grades. The boy told detectives his father used a computer cord to whip him for more than four hours, until the cord broke. The beating was so bad, the victim couldn't go to school for a day because it hurt to sit down. Detectives also said there were several other forms of punishment the boy endured, including standing on one foot for long periods of time.
Devine's estranged wife called police when she saw his injuries, and now neighbors say everyone needs to keep a watchful eye.
"We all need to watch, but I did not see any signs of anything that I felt I needed to report, so I'm shocked," said Brown.
The boy is staying with his step-mother and is said to be doing okay, but still recovering. Detectives said it's not clear if the abuse happened more than once.
Devine is being held at the Clay County Jail on a $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday at 1:30 p.m.