CCSO: 3-month-old choked, punched fights to live

Posted at 11:42 AM, May 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-01 11:45:18-04

A 22-year-old Citrus County man is accused of repeatedly punching a 3-month-old baby in the face and choking her until she lost consciousness, deputies say.

Skyler Bennett, of Beverly Hills, is now facing aggravated child abuse charges.

He is being held without bond.

Deputies say the abuse took place over a period of several week and on April 28th resulted in the baby being flown to Shand's Hospital in Gainesville where she underwent emergency surgery.

The baby remains in critical condition.

A witness to the abuse told deputies Bennett beat the baby on several occasions by punching her in the face, slapping her and violently shaking her, an arrest affidavit states.

According to the witness, the morning of April 28th, Bennett became angry and shook and choked the baby until the baby lost consciousness.

Deputies say Bennett beat the baby because she would not stop crying.

Bennett denied beating the child and claimed he dropped her, deputies say.

Bennett reportedly told deputies he was a "bad person" and "did not deserve to live," an arrest affidavt states.

Deputies say Bennett admitted he lost his tempter and has anger management issues.