By Tanasia Kenney / idahostatesman.com

A father accused of physically assaulting his daughter during a fight claims he hit the girl for being “disrespectful,” Louisiana authorities said.

Donnie Paul Neil, 40, faces several charges after allegedly striking the child and choking her until she nearly passed out, all while ramming her head into the floor of his home in Chauvin, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies arrived at the home Wednesday morning for a report of a child being physically abused. Neil wasn’t inside, but deputies located his daughter, who had “obvious injuries around [her] neck and face,” according to a news release.

Police didn’t reveal the child’s age. A search of the home turned up drug paraphernalia and shotgun shells.

Authorities learned the girl hadn’t seen her father in five years and was visiting from out of town when they had a fight about his drug use. Neil was allegedly using “illegal drugs inside the residence every day,” police said, and his daughter was unhappy about it.

The girl ran into a bedroom and locked the door behind her. That’s when Neil repeatedly tried to break it down before “grabbing a saw and sawing his way through the door.” He proceeded to attack his daughter after forcing his way inside.

The child escaped to a neighbor’s home, police said, and 911 was called.

Deputies searched the area and found Neil hiding at a nearby house. He was taken and questioned at the sheriff’s office, where he acknowledged hitting his daughter. He also admitted to partaking in illicit drugs in front of her, authorities said.

Neil was booked on charges of domestic abuse by strangulation on a minor child, domestic abuse battery, aggravated assault and false imprisonment. He’s also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and illegal use of a controlled drug.

He remained in custody at the Terrebonne Parish Criminal Justice Complex as of Thursday on a $51,000.00 bond.

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