Police: Clarksville father threatened to kill 9-year-old son

Police: Clarksville father threatened to kill 9-year-old son (Image 1)

A Clarksville father faces charges of child abuse and neglect for threatening to kill his 9-year-old son.

The boy ran away Saturday morning and later told investigators he did so because his father, Paul Rutherford, told him that he was going to kill him and then kill himself.

The boy said his father also hit him in the head and chin. The child had a slightly swollen lip, police stated.

“He's such a small little kid. He's good and I just can't imagine anyone doing that to him or him having to go through that kind of turmoil,” said Cherie Vazquez, a neighbor.

Saturday, authorities searched Vazquez's property in Clarksville looking for the 9 year-old after he ran away from home.

The child often played with her grandchildren at their house.

“I told them they could come on and make sure he wasn't hiding out here,” said Vazquez.

His father, Paul Rutherford, also stopped by Vazquez's house looking for the boy.

Rutherford, 36, was already in custody, having initially been arrested earlier Saturday for several traffic violations.

He additionally was charged with vandalism for trying to kick out the window of the arresting deputy's patrol car.

According to an arrest warrant, Rutherford also told the deputy that when he got out of jail, “he would go kill everyone in his family and then kill himself.”

He was later charged with a child abuse and neglect and his bond increased to $107,000.

Police said if and when Rutherford is released from jail, he is prohibited from having contact with his son.

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