Goodyear man accused of smacking son, 5, over prayers

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Kenneth Arnold Jr. By Jennifer Thomas Kenneth Arnold Jr. By Jennifer Thomas

GOODYEAR, Ariz. – A Goodyear father is accused of hitting his 5-year-old son because he didn't like the way he said his prayers.

Kenneth Arnold Jr., 45, was arrested Monday afternoon.

Court documents say when the boy was dropped off at his grandmother's house last week, she noticed the boy's face was so swollen she could not see the bridge of his nose.

Arnold reportedly told her that the boy had fallen out of bed.

Police said the grandmother described the bed as approximately 2 or 3 feet high and said the floor was carpeted.

The grandmother took the child to a pediatrician and then to a hospital where a doctor determined the injury to the boy's face was consistent with being struck and not with a fall.

The child told police that his dad "smacked" him on the nose with an open hand because he didn't like how he said his prayers, according to the court documents.

Arnold denied the accusations.

He faces one count of child abuse.