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Felony charges: Eden Prairie dad says he has ‘right to whoop’ teen daughter with branch

November 26, 2018

An Eden Prairie man beat his teenage daughter with a tree branch and a belt, leaving bloody and bruised wounds over much of her body, according to felony charges.

A branch with embedded hair was found by police at the home hidden in a laundry basket, according to court records.

Craig D. Underwood II, 38, is charged in Hennepin County District Court with felony malicious punishment of a child. Underwood was jailed and then released last week in lieu of $18,000 bail. A message was left with his attorney seeking a response to the allegations.

According to the criminal complaint and other court records:

The teen sent an e-mail on her school-issued laptop to county child protection officials that she had bruises over most of her body from her father abusing her.

Police were notified and met the girl on Nov. 15 in the driveway of the familys home, where they saw the teen suffering from swollen hands, fresh lashing injuries, and bleeding and scrapes all up and down both legs. Paramedics on the scene treated the girl for numerous bruises and cuts all over her body.

The girl said her father beat her with a tree branch and a belt. Underwood drove up to the home as his daughter was speaking with officers.

He appeared hostile toward police and told them he had every right to whoop her, the charging document quoted him as saying. He acknowledged hitting her with the branch on her legs, buttocks and arms, as well as taking a belt to the girl.

Underwood put up resistance to being arrested, but was eventually taken into custody.

Several family members in the home also were hostile to police and refused to let officers inside. The teen told police there were about 10 people living there.

A court-ordered search of the home by a police detective that night turned up a tree branch with black hairs embedded/attached that was in a laundry basket and covered by a blanket in the master bedroom.

Police also seized two belts and several pieces of wood that appeared to come from one or more branches.

Paul Walsh 612-673-4482

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