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Man accused of holding girl underwater until she became unconscious

A Sharp County couple was arrested after authorities say a 12-year-old girl was held under water until she became unconscious.

In a news release from the Sharp County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Mark Counts said his department received a 911 call informing them of the incident.

Christopher Cope, 29, is accused of committing the offense while the family was on a Fourth of July outing on the Strawberry River.

The victim was taken by Survival Flight to a Little Rock hospital where her condition is now considered improving. Cope is facing several charges including: suspicion of first-degree domestic battery, resisting arrest, intimidating a witness, and interference with law enforcement officers.

The mother of the girl, Elizabeth Cope, 32, was also taken into custody for interference with law enforcement officers, endangering the welfare of a minor, and resisting arrest.

UPDATE 3:40 p.m., July 9, 2019: Initial reports indicated Christopher Cope was the father of the child, however, social media posts by readers have noted Cope is the stepfather of the child. We’ve reached out for clarification from authorities.

Images via Sharp County Sheriff’s Department

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