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Woman accused of using Jiu Jitsu move to get cellphone from son

Tracy Shelley is facing a charge of child abuse. (PBSO)

A woman from Boynton Beach is facing a child abuse charge after police say she used a martial arts move to take away her son's cellphone.

Tracy Shelley told police since she and her husband separated, her son has not been following the house rules and has been disrespectful at her home.

According to the police report, Shelley said she went to get his cellphone since he'd been using it for several hours. He refused to give it up. Shelley said she put him in a "submission" hold using a Jiu Jitsu move with both her arms around his head and neck. He gave up the phone and she released the hold.

Investigators said the boy claimed he never lost consciousness but had red marks on his neck.

Shelley is free on bond, per court records.

CBS12 News knocked on Shelley’s door, but no one answered.

Neighbors say Shelley is a very nice woman, and it must have been a misunderstanding.

The conflict has since sparked a conversation about parenting and where to draw the line.

“Boy, I’ve never heard of anything like that," said Vicki Shall, a mother of two. "I can see disciplining and taking the phone away, but past that, something's not right.”

"It [the arrest] sounds a little extreme," said Patricia Knobel, another parent. "Parents have a right to discipline their kids, but obviously without hurting them.”

CBS12 News has requested the 911 call from Boynton Beach Police.


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