INVERNESS, Fla - Citrus County Sheriff's deputies arrested Austin Buchanan, 21, and charged him with felony child abuse and neglect.
Deputies say Buchanan struck a 5-month-old boy in the head and face several times.
Doctors who treated the child report the boy significant facial, lip, nose and tongue trauma. Doctors say the injuries are consistent with high velocity strikes to the head.
Buchanan is also accused on not administering medical attention to the boy.
The sheriff's office was contacted on February 25 that the child had been abused.
During interviews, Buchanan allegedly admitted to deputies the boy was in his sole care and custody at the time the injuries were sustained. Buchanan claimed to have seen the injuries and told other family members about them before leaving the boy in their care and leaving the residence.
According to deputies, Buchanan provided conflicting information to law enforcement and medical professionals the night of the incident.
Buchanan told family members the boy fell off the couch and then told them one of the family's pets stepped on the boy's face, deputies said.
Buchanan is being held without bond.
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