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A shocking video has revealed the moment a police officer apparently slapped a 10-year-old boy across the face after the child bit his hand.
The officer, a member of the Eugene Police Department in Oregon, was responding to reports that the boy was in the care of his mother when his father had been granted sole custody.
A group of officers went to collect the boy, who has never attended school and is illiterate, from Monroe Park where he has been living with his mother, Stephanie Johnston, 28, in a bus.
But when they arrived on the scene, the mother's friends told the boy to run from the cops, and one pulled out her cell phone to capture the confrontation.
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Strike: A police officer apparently hits a 10-year-old boy across the head for biting his hand
Pain: He grimaces as the officer holds him. The child ran away when cops came to settle a custody dispute
One officer is seen holding the boy by the hand and pulling him through the park towards police cars, where the boy's father, 32-year-old Brian Wolfe, is waiting.
But suddenly, the officer hits the child on the head with his right hand - causing the boy to yell and try to wriggle free.
'You do not hit that child,' a bystander can be heard screaming at the officer. 'You do not hit an under-aged child.'
'He just bit me,' the officer explains.
As the video continues, a crowd gathers and shouts profanities at the police officers, while the boy insists that Wolfe is not his real father.
On camera: The police department said that the unnamed officer acted professionally at all times
Taken: The police officers had arrived to take the boy from his mother, who had been living in a bus at the park, to his father, who has been granted full custody of the boy. He said he did not want to go
People in the background shout 'he's just a child' and threaten the police officers with lawsuits.
Officer Sam Kamkar from the Eugene Police Department told KVAL that the officer's response was calm and professional.
'He continues to display professionalism even after he's bit by this 10-year-old,' Kamkar said.
The officer whose hand was bitten received a very minor injury, according to the Eugene Police.
The child was in the custody of his mother, which was against a court order for the last few years. Wolfe has a court order awarding his full custody of the child - with Johnston getting nothing.
The Department of Human Services is looking into the case.