CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) – Authorities in Florida say an 11-year-old boy stabbed a man with scissors to get him to stop beating the boy’s mother.

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputies say the boy feared for his mother’s life.

Deputies says 44-year-old Panagiotis Karamanlis pulled the woman’s hair, held her to the ground and punched her in the face multiple times after they got into an argument over text messages.

The attack took place in front of the woman’s two children, ages 10 and 11.

News reports say Karamanlis denied punching the woman, but she had bruises on her face.

Karamanlis was charged with battery and child abuse. The extent of his injuries wasn’t clear.

Online court records show there was an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold on Karamanlis. No attorney was listed for him.