ST. CLOUD, Minn. (WCCO) – A 23-year-old St. Cloud man was arrested Wednesday after it was discovered he struck and bit his two children more than a week ago, authorities said.

Police were called at about 6:46 p.m. on Aug. 8 to check on the welfare of two 22-month-old children who reside on the 400 block of 15th Avenue Southeast. A witness told police that hey seen the children earlier in the day and they had injuries that were consistent with child abuse.

An investigation showed that Joshua John Peterson, the father of the children, had struck and bitten them both several times in the face.

Authorities arrested Peterson Wednesday on two counts of malicious punishment of a child and taken to the Benton County Jail. The children have been placed in protective custody.

Comments (59)
  1. Kath Church says:

    Exactly what I have been saying about the ME generation they don’t have a clue and are very selfish! You can’t abuse children like this….. They probably bothered him while he was trying to play video games! This generation of 20 somethings don’t want children and if they have them they don’t want to take care of them they want to dump them on someone older or they say they cant cope. Well I hope you can cope in jail when they are beating you for abusing a infant!

    1. Mommie Dearest says:

      That’s alot of conclusions drwan from very few facts.

    2. single parent of twins says:

      A) PREA has helped to eliminate a lot of correctional center abuses that happen

      B) You made a lot of assumptions about this man

      C) Not to excuse his behavior, but raising twins (my assumption since there were two 22-month olds) is not easy. I’m not saying he’s justified. I’m saying I personally understand the stress levels involved.

      D) We need to find other options for parents that are struggling with child issues. Often for those of us not on state/county assistance, resources are NOT available.

      1. Jim says:

        Your such an an idiot, I have 4 kids, including twins,I’m a single father and I never would have even thought to hit let alone bite my kids, and they were colicky. You people are always the same, blame someone else, “poor me, I need more resources, here is my hand out again” Get off welfare and stop feeling sorry for yourself.

        1. county worker says:

          Nice assumptions. That poster didn’t say he/she was on welfare. In fact that poster specifically said he/she did not get assistance and also said there was no excuse for the behavior. Raising multiples is stressful. And that poster merely mentioned needing resources. Things like respite care is NOT available for parents who are not receiving county funds That’s a fact.

          1. Blah blah blah - shaddup says:

            Oh Christ, a County non-worker chimes in. Can I vomit on my shoes now?

            Shaddup you podunks – in today’s world you’re guily unless proven innocent

    3. Steph Forsyth says:

      Sorry Kath, but it’s not as if the “ME” generation is the first to abuse their children. There are plenty of people from teenagers to later in life parents that likely should never have had children.

    4. annoyed at ignorance says:

      I strongly disagree with you! How ignorant of a comment. I am in that generation thank you very much and if you look up generations we are the most focused on our children. It is not called the “ME” generation its call the X generation.. Idiot. This is one instance where this person should have never been a parent, that doesn’t make ALL “twenty-something” parents bad. We aren’t about ourselves and next time study up before making such a stupid comment… It was prob your generation that beat kids with a belt.. so??? hmm.

      1. Red Wing Winger says:

        The X generation? No.

        Generation X is the age group currently crossing the late 30s and into 40.

        Greatest Generation
        Baby Boomers
        Generation X
        Generation Why
        The Me Generation

        Welcome to it

        1. annoyed at ignorance says:

          Gen Y (18-27 years old)
          Gen X (27-43)
          Baby Boomer (44-61)
          Silent Gen (above 61)
          There ya go

          1. Shattered Image says:

            I strongly disagree that a 27 year old is a gen X-er. No way. Wrong generation.

            And I’ve NEVER heard the term “Silent Generation” before. I’ve only heard them referred to as the Greatest Generation, and they’re far older than 61, kiddo.

            No baby boomers are 44.

            You’re way off on all of these.

    5. ProudMama says:

      Excuse me “this generation of 20 somethings” I happen to be a 23 year stay at home mom with 3 boys and another baby on the way. My husband is a hard working man who provides for all of our needs at the age of 26. We don’t get any state or county assitance. You can’t judge a whole generation by 1 persons actions. Was he wrong in what he did absolutely, but that doesn’t mean that all parents in there 20s are that way!

      1. Iconoclast says:

        23, 3 kids and stay at home mom.

        Why have ambition, right?


      2. Red Wing Winger says:

        You sound more like a pin cushion than anything. Hahaha!

    6. Mark says:

      Me generation? What about the Me political party better known as Republicans……..?

    7. Victoria Meyer says:

      Wow, Kath you are ignorant !
      I am a mom to a 10 year old and a 2 year old . Im 27.
      I don’t pawn my children off on anyone ! I don’t even let my own mom take my kids over night ! My fiancee and I both work extremely hard to provide for our children! We don’t get government help. I look at my children no differently than someone who is twice my age might look at their children. My daughters are miracles, angels sweet little gifts from above and I would give my last breath to ensure my children have a happy, healthy , well rounded upbringing . with tons of love , understanding and respect for their individuality.
      This is a tragedy that these children where exposed to this and it truly breaks my heart to think that a child would feel the pain of this wicked world by his own parents hands and in this case mouth. But for you to say that all 20 something year olds are irresponsible ,uncaring and horrible, selfish parents ..made you look like A** with such an assumption! I am proud of my children and their father (yes not plural just 1 ,because God knows you also probably assume we all are a bunch of wh***s .) adores them ! We couldn’t ask for anything more … Our girls are our world

    8. Theresa Cruz says:

      no he does not play video games he has problems he served in iraq and the war made him angry and crazy he is a all around good guy he snapped

    9. Carol McGuire says:

      Mother of Joshua Peterson
      Exactly conclusions drawn from a short media story written for the benefit of making money selling papers. My son has a head injury from iraq and has sought much needed help from the VA and hasn’t received the needed treatment. Many soldiers male and female are returning back from iraq with multiple physical and emotional injuries that aren’t dealt with. Joshua was in the VA psych ward after the children were taken receiving mental help the court denied a commital request that I put in the police took a statement from him while he was on a 72 hour hold , incoherent, off his regular medications that the VA prescribed for him diagnosing him with ptsd and bipolar disorder. This is not an isolated instance many vets are being pushed to the side . Lets wake up america how many times does this have to happen to the family, friends and children of a vet before we wake up. Only a portion of the soldiers have returned home so far….. God bless us all and our country.

      1. Joe says:

        Do not try to connect this to the military. I, along with over 130 other individuals, served in Iraq with this weird guy. He did NOT receive a head injury. That was his excuse to collect over $600 a month from the government, then had the balls to complain, on Facebook, about them trying to take those payments away since he’s still in a drilling status(which is a totally different topic). He was a liar and very awkward to be around. Towards the end of the deployment he refused to go out on missions with his squad because he was afraid. 3 years later only one other individual has had problems with the law. Do not blame this on the deployment, the rest of us got through it. There is no excuse whatsoever to harm a child.

  2. patty says:

    This jerk needs to be thrown in jail…my gosh…22 months old, he hits and bites, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see what this cream puff did to babies….you don’t need to give this guy any room for “drawn conclusions”…he’s a real tough guys that can abuse babies. Creep!

  3. Richard Paulus says:

    AAAAA Where is MaMa??????

  4. cassie b says:

    I think the worst punishment for a child is to spank them on the bottom, and that is only if absolutely nothing else can stop awful behavior, absolute worst that should ever happen. But to the face, and by using your mouth to do the harm, this shows a lot of psychological problems. Such young children, I feel so sorry for them. Where was the mom? This “mike tyson” act alike can have fun rotting in prison!

  5. KeepItReal says:

    Wait it is legal to strike your children in this country. How is biting any different??? REALLY, do you have a clue? Hitting kids is wrong. How stupid are people who think hitting is ok and biting isn’t. Both are wrong. It should be illegal to hit your kids.

    1. So sick of LOSERS says:

      It is legal, as long as it is an open hand and on their behinds. Biting and slapping your babies in the face is crazy and illegal. I hope someone bites him while he is in the big house. What a LOSER

  6. 20 years in the big house for this loser says:

    He will get before some liberal judge who will throw the case out. This is one sick sob

  7. Ace says:

    Worked with the guy, not the greatest person in my opinion, as a 23 year old father i would never abuse my child, and Kath that was a very hurtful comment, glad not everyone is as small minded and feeble as you. he does deserve punishment, but to say that its generational and not just how someone is raised is uniformed babble.

    1. Chelsie Mann says:

      The mother of these children is a great mother and yes he should be punished but she shouldn’t be! and either should these babies they are so innocent and beautiful! They have been through enough!

  8. Sarah in Outstate MN says:

    “A witness told police that hey seen the children earlier in the day and they had injuries that were consistent with child abuse”.

    What is “hey seen” and why is a “witness” an expert on ” injuries consistent with child abuse”? Is the witness a doctor or social worker?

    Who wrote this article?

    Maybe it is child abuse, but the article is so poorly written and there is a lot of speculation.

    1. em0886 says:

      Any person with any sort of a brain stem can identify injuries that would indicate signs of child abuse

      1. security0207 says:

        that’s what i’m thinking

      2. Chelsie says:

        NOT TRUE!! They were twins that compete for their parents attention. Kids bite and fight ond fall. there are alot of reason why twins with rivalry problems would beat eachother!!!

        Stop being so ignorant!

  9. rw says:

    can not believe the people sticking up for this monster!!!!!!!!!!

    1. seriously says:

      I don’t see ANYONE sticking up for this person.

  10. Benny says:

    That is what is wrong with this country. Nobody wants to admit their wrong

    1. jeff says:

      let big business create them. you’ll have the repubes screaming “bigger government”.

  11. Willow says:

    Nice red eye in the photo. Makes him look like a vampire. Was the non-editing perhaps done on purpose?

  12. how bout says:

    stomp the frigger for 2 weeks and then call it a day

  13. Parent up North says:

    There is a big difference between beating and spanking. Spanking as a last resort is nothing new and helps. But biting, kicking, and using a weapon is NOT discipline, it’s abuse!
    This “father” needs help, BIG TIME.
    I am a mother of 4, 2 of them being twins. They were spanked when needed.They are all employed with good jobs. I am now the grandmother of 3. As parents, they spank their kids, PRN! I have well mannered grand kids too

    1. Red Wing Winger says:

      I’ve never “had” to spank my kids. I don’t want them to fear me; I want them to respect me. To me, that means detailing cause and effect, and consequences for actions. Physical violence has always been more for the benefit of an emotional release for the hitter, and less of a disciplinary measure for the hittee…

      Else we would sentence them to a spanking and have it delivered as a punishment. But it’s not handed out that way, is it? It’s delivered in anger, at the moment of infraction. Quite different than administering a logical and appropriate punishment.

      1. Chelsie says:

        I would have to disagree! My parents spanked me and it was way more affective than being put in the corner! there is a huge difference between beating your childeren and spaanking them! stop being close minded!

  14. Gloria says:

    In my opinion, this monster should never have contact with any children ever again. I hope he receives a just punishment and is incarcerated for a very long time. These poor babies have most likely suffered at his hands (or mouth) in the past as well. No mention of a Mother in this poorly written article though.

    1. Chelsie Mann says:

      She is a smart woman and is keeping her babies safe!!

  15. Golly says:

    this is Minnesota – he’ll get probation

  16. Angie says:

    This”man” should never be allowed to procreate ever again. Only a coward would hit and bite his children. What a loser!! I hope he goes to jail and Bubba gets a hold of him and teaches him a lesson.

    1. Red Wing Winger says:

      Ideally, the punishment would be harsh and swift. However, we do not want other inmates to be distributing out the punishment that we as a society do not have the stomach to mete out ourselves.

      1. Angie says:

        Look at Jeffrey Dahmer. He got what he deserved. The inmates may have nothing to lose so why not do something to him. I am not saying kill the man, but a painful or uncomfortable punishment would be nice.

  17. HA HA says:

    Maybe he was after the leftover gerber baby food on the kids face?

  18. we says:

    Turn him lose on a island full of starving cannibals!

  19. Chelsie Mann says:

    You have no idea what it would be like to have this happen to your childeren so don’t blame this innocent woman for her husbands action. She is probablly dealing with alot and you pricks have no right to be bashing on her. Please keep your comments to yourself. The author of this article had no right to release some of the information that has been released! Stop jumping to conclusions about this article when there was not alot of info given

    1. Victoria Meyer says:

      Obviously you must be close to someone in this case . Child abuse is wrong and for you to sit here and condone it … and talk like the couple are victims , no the only victims here are the children who had to suffer and the people who will be paying for the sick SOB’s incarceration! I am glad they expose people like this and then there is twits like you who to try and justify someones action …your right we don;t know these people but I am pretty sure it was a pretty serious child abuse case if it landed in the news …if there was nothing there … this story wouldn’t be here 😉

      1. Chelsie Mann says:

        Ya you are right! you do not know these people and I do the mother is completely innocent and I am not Justifying his actions but at the same time you do not know what went on in his mind and either do I. He will never be forgiven and I hope he goes to jail! But this poor mother does not need to read all the stuff you are posting. She is doing everything in her power at this point to keep her children safe! does it mention anything about her or the fact that she did anything to her babies??? NO!!!! because she wouldnt touch those kids! they are her life and the fact that her husband did this to her babies is already hard enough with out your BS! she is a GREAT mother. So take your head out of your Butt!!!!

        1. bluefaery says:

          if she were such a great mother chelsie mann … why are we reading about “witness tells police” not “mother beats child abuser” … i can tell you what i am a mom of three great kids 11 years 3 years and 1 year … and i work a full 40 hours … i tell you what i am there to change the diapers and give the baths and i notice every scratch that my children have … if someone else some “witness” can see bite marks or other marks on these children enough to call police and the mother didn’t notice or didn’t see then she is either and idiot or protecting her worthless husband … if my husband left a mark, let alone a bite mark, on of our children i would beat him near death and drag him into the street and wait for the cops to haul him away

  20. Victoria Meyer says:

    Maybe she wouldn’t I am not at all saying she was the abuser . Honestly however she should of recognized what was happening in her own home . A parent is suppose to protect their children . If I came home to find my children with bumps, bruises that did not appear to be from another child ( and yes you can tell the difference ) I would immediately take my children out of the home .
    Maybe she was abused by this man also, maybe she was afraid I don’t know what was running through her mind but unfortunately her children where abused and she didn’t protect her children . It happens everyday in America and unfortunately the abuser has a weak woman to manipulate and slam to the ground and after kids are introduced into that situation the abuser will abuse them also . I can’t seem to understand why at all you feel like she was innocent in this whole matter …she failed at protecting her children …great mother or not she failed .

    1. Theresa Cruz says:

      you dont know this family you all shoul stay out of it his sister is tmy best friend and she is the best mother to her daughter

  21. Theresa Cruz says:

    josh has been through alot and there is no reason for his actions. he has also seen alot in iraq at war. he has problems for abusing his children yes but he has fought for our country every one has problems.

    1. Joe says:

      No, he didn’t see “alot” in Iraq. Quit bringing this up as a defense for his behavior. The fact that he served for his country has nothing to do with abusing his children. He was messed up before the deployment even started. Ask the other 130+ people that were on the exact same deployment with him. We all thought he was a creep.

  22. catiw says:

    this is so crazy, made my heart sink. i had a class with him and his wife now in college a couple years ago, back when they first met and she first became pregnant. they have 3 kids now and i hope the boy wasn’t abused as well 😦

  23. sister says:

    you know i really do not need to read all of this ignorance about my family it is what it is..he made his bed now he will lie in it makes me sick to think about my poor neices and nephew i love them so much but my sister in law is totally i nocent see my neice has a form of autisim and i saw thi sfor myself she hit and kicked my other nice and bit so it would be very hard for her to know if it was from him or not they even took them too the doctor to try to help the one twin its very sick writing this i am crying i just can’t believe they put the address in here that is so illegal omg they could hurt my poor sister in law jesus..this is not the brother i grew up with he will never see my child i could never trust him and i will be helping my sister in law help get the kids back and make sure they are protected..just pray for the kids they are fine though my sister in law is going threw so much i ask for prayers ..and as far as my brother i can only pray one day he realizes what he has done and pleads to god for forgiveness

  24. sister says:

    my god i am totally still in shock i can’t believe it how cruel some people can be i would have NEVER thought he would have done this all my family is like wth i cried for like 2days my poor neices..they are doing very good though they are beautiful i am just so emotional yuck makes me appreciate my daughter more ..

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