SWEETWATER, Fla. – A mother and father are facing child abuse and child neglect charges after their son was found Sunday with blood smeared across his right cheek at Dolphin Mall, authorities said.
According to an arrest report, police were called to the Bloomingdales Outlet store in reference to a battery on a child.
Police said the responding officer spoke to the father, Mariano Pinar, 28, first, and asked where the child was.
Police said Pinar, who was nervous and evasive, walked outside and said that his son, whose age was not immediately released, was standing on the sidewalk with his mother.
He confessed to striking the boy once with a belt because the boy would not stay quiet, the report said.
Police said the officer approached the boy's mother, Dazny Torres, 27, who was also evasive and hesitant to speak to the officer.
The officer said the boy "was nervous, shaking, crying and afraid to speak to me."
The officer said the boy had a bloody mouth from a laceration on his upper lip, and blood was smeared across his right cheek.
The officer said Torres told him in Spanish, "I am sorry, but he wouldn't shut up."
The officer separated the boy from his parents and the boy was checked by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue for more injuries.
The officer noted in the arrest report that he observed a red welt across the boy's back.
When checking the child's mouth, large cavities were observed by authorities on most of the boy's molars. The cavities were so big and deep that the molars appeared to be hollow, the report said.
The officer also noted that the boy had a scar on the crown of his head, running from back to front. When asked about his injuries, the boy told the officer, "My mom is the bad one. Dad just hit me today," the report said.
According to the report, the boy told the officer that his mother had previously stuck him with a belt and the buckle hit him in the head, causing the scar.
Pinar and Torres were both arrested and are being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
Authorities did not disclose in the report who took custody of the child.