TAMPA, Fla. - A Tampa man has been charged with stabbing his six-year-old son more than 20 times.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies have arrested 23 year-old Xavier Thomas and charged him attempted murder.
Investigators say six-year-old Xavier Thomas Jr. was visiting relatives at an apartment on 58th Street last night. \
The victim's dad was also there. The family was in the parking lot lighting fireworks after which the father took his son to a playground at the apartment complex. About 20 minutes later, family members noticed that the little boy was missing and started looking for him.
Around the same time, the father returned to the apartment without his son. When he was questioned about the little boy, he took off.
A family member called the sheriff's department about the missing boy. Just as deputies arrived, the child emerged from the playground area, covered in blood.
The child was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital. Officials say his stab wounds are not life threatening. The boy's grandmothter told ABC Action News he lost a lot of blood and may need a transfusion.
Deputies searched for the father and located him walking on 50th street near I-4, where he was taken into custody.
Xavier Thomas Sr. will make his first appearance in court tomorrow. He has a lengthy rap sheet dating back to 2003 with charges ranging from possesion of cocaine to burglary.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Firefighters have gained control of a house fire that burned in the Citrus Park area of Tampa.