ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A man on Florida’s sex offender registry was put back behind bars late last week after an infant was taken to a hospital with multiple injuries to his face, mouth and body, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said the boy was taken to a hospital on Aug. 9 and was found to have an extensive list of injuries:
- Contusion below the right eye
- Right temporal swelling
- Contusion on the anterior aspect of the left external helix (ear)
- Blood blister on the right side of the left ear
- Deep abrasion to the left external helix (ear)
- Bilateral (both eyes) ocular subconjunctival hemorrhages
- Oval contusion on the left lateral border of the tongue
- Torn lower frenulum under the surface of the tongue
- Four deep abrasions to the undersurface of the chin and neck
- Elliptical shaped laceration, approximately one inch in length, to the anterior neck
- Purple discoloration to the undersurface of the penis
- Multiple rib fractures confirmed, to include the ninth and tenth on the right side, and possible fractures to the right fourth, fifth and sixth rib, along with an acute left third rib
- Multiple areas of encephalomalacia (areas of dead brain) on the bilateral frontal lobes
- C3 vertebra fracture with ligament damage and an epidural hematoma
Doctors who examined the boy said his injuries were likely caused by a great amount of force over a period of time, records show. The injury to the child’s tongue and the swelling of his throat were believed to have been the result of having an object forcibly put in his mouth, according to the report.
Additionally, doctors said some of the boy’s injuries were so severe they could have caused paralysis or even death, records show.
Deputies said the boy’s mother claimed that Chris Garcia, 23, had offered to give the child a bath that day and before the boy went into the bathroom with Garcia, he did not have any visible injuries.
As the mother went to check on the two in the bathroom, she noticed redness on the baby’s face that later turned into a bruise and when she confronted Garcia, he said a baby bottle had fallen and hit the boy near his eye, according to authorities.
The woman knocked on her father-in-law’s door to show him the injuries but the confrontation between her and Garcia got so intense that she had a seizure, records show.
Deputies said that later, after Garcia fell asleep, the mother took her child to a hospital to receive treatment.
According to authorities, Garcia had shown signs of resentment and jealousy toward the baby and had become detached from him in recent weeks.
A controlled phone call was conducted from the hospital room and Garcia told the boy’s mother to “make something up” about how the boy was injured, records show.
Deputies said Garcia’s statements about what happened that day did not align with the statements provided by other family members who were in the home at the time. He claimed that he and the boy’s mother bathed the child together, according to the report.
Garcia was arrested Friday on a charge of aggravated child abuse.
Records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement show that in 2013, Garcia was convicted of lewd or lascivious molestation of a victim under 12 years old.
Garcia has since bonded out of the Orange County Jail.
The victim’s exact age was not available but the report did note that he recently missed his doctor’s appointment that was scheduled for when he turned one month old.