Mother and father, who said their 2-month-old boy may have suffered 18 rib fractures and permanent brain damage because he was very fragile, but cops suspect he was actually severely beaten for an extended period of time and that eventually caused brain bleeding, were arrested

A couple faced severe legal consequences after their two-month-old son was severely injured. 42-year-old man, identified as Stephen, and his 37-year-old wife, identified as Tina, were arrested following the discovery of their son’s critical injuries.

The couple was arrested last week, with both facing a charge of child neglect resulting in great bodily harm. The charges were serious: Stephen additionally faced a count of aggravated child abuse or torture resulting in great bodily harm. These charges stemmed from the extreme injuries inflicted upon their newborn son.

On the morning of January 3, 2023, emergency services were summoned to their home, where they found an unresponsive infant. The call was made by Stephen, who discovered his son unconscious. The child had blue-colored lips, a sign of severe distress. The first responders immediately performed CPR on the infant and rushed him to the hospital. The baby’s condition was so severe that he required intubation and was airlifted to the pediatric intensive care unit at another hospital for specialized treatment. The medical examination revealed shocking details: the baby had 18 broken ribs in various stages of healing, a fractured right hand, a brain bleed, neurological damage, and other severe injuries. The injuries were not consistent with an accident and indicated regular physical abuse.

During police interviews, both parents denied knowing the cause of their son’s injuries. Stephen, the primary caregiver, attributed some symptoms to colic but could not explain the severe injuries. Tina noticed her son’s unusual fussiness and reduced milk intake but did not link these to the physical harm. Both parents added that their son may have suffered a litany of injuries because he was “very fragile.” The severity of the child’s condition and the parents’ inability to provide a satisfactory explanation led to their arrest. Stephen was held without bond, while Tina’s bond was set at $100,000.

Alfred Duncan

Alfred Duncan is a senior editor at The South Florida Daily, where he oversees our coverage of politics, misinformation, health and economics. Alfred is a former reporter and editor for BuzzFeed News, National Geographic and USA Today.

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