FORISTELL • A man who hosed down his 6-year-old stepson for 30 minutes because the boy didn't do his chores has been charged with felony child abuse, police said.

Joseph Paul Knyff, 40, of the 3300 block of Fawn Drive was charged Thursday in the incident, which happened late last month.

Knyff told police he had sprayed his stepson with water because the boy did not pick up grass clippings in the yard.

Knyff's wife, Nora Knyff, said that after her husband had sprayed the boy for 20 minutes, she told her husband the punishment had gone on long enough, and she went out and shut off the hose, police said. Her husband went over and turned the hose back on again, she said.

The boy's mother stated that her son is terrified of water, and the boy was screaming and crying while he was being sprayed. Police said even though it was hot outside, the child was shivering when they arrived.

Bail has been set in the case at $15,000 cash only.

Susan Weich is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.