Nassau County Boy Scout leader charged with child abuse

Eric Modinger is accused of manhandling a relative during an argument

By Erik Avanier - Reporter

YULEE, Fla. - A Boy Scout leader faces a felony charge in Nassau County over a complaint that he manhandled a child relative during a heated argument, authorities said.

Scoutmaster Eric Modinger, 40, of Yulee, was arrested Tuesday and booked into the Nassau County jail on one count of child abuse, according to a copy of his arrest report.

Modinger was released Wednesday morning after posting $15,000 bond, jail records show.

The arrest stems from a complaint filed by a separate relative, who told investigators that the incident unfolded Monday night in front of Modinger’s family, the report stated.

The relative said the dispute began while the victim was doing homework. Things turned violent when the victim went into another room and shut the door, according to the report.

Modinger slammed into the closed door, knocking the victim into the drywall, and then grabbed the child by the arms and threw him around the room, the same relative told deputies.

Once the pair was separated, the relative took the child to a friend’s house. 

Two minors who were inside the home at the time backed up the relative’s version of events.

Photographs of the boy’s injuries showed a series of abrasions, bruises and others on the child’s body that investigators concluded was consistent with what the relative described. Investigators said part of the incident was recorded by a relative.

"The video is very important," said News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson. "It was very wise of the relative to capture that video so it can be presented as evidence."

A statement from Boy Scouts of America reads in part:

“This behavior is unacceptable and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands. Upon learning of these allegations, we immediately notified law enforcement. We have also removed this individual and prohibited him from any future participation in our programs.

“Nothing is more important than the safety and protection of children in our Scouting programs – it is our top priority."

News4Jax visited Modinger's listed address. No one answered the door.

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