Severely beaten infant suffers skull fracture, father arrested

47-day-infant now on a ventilator
Posted at 4:40 PM, Jun 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-23 23:15:39-04

Steven Michael Jones, 19, of Pinellas County has been charged with aggravated child abuse after he reportedly beat a 47-day-old infant. 

Neighbors identified Jones as the infant's father. They told ABC Action News Jones and his girlfriend recently moved into the home next door. They said the infant's grandmother told them it was all an accident.

"She was telling me about it, her son was a good guy and what happened was the baby slipped and hit his head on the tub," Ike, who withheld his last name, said. 

The arrest affidavit shows that is what Jones told them as well. But, according to the report, "the infant sustained abusive head trauma, including a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain. The injuries caused the baby's brain to shift inside of his skull due to the pressure in his brain."

Additionally, multiple bruises were found on the infant's back and stomach. Police say the bruises are about the size of fingerprints and they appear to be caused by someone grasping the baby too tightly with their hands. 

"He needs to be locked up. He needs to stay right there in jail where he is at, and they don't need to let him out," neighbor Wayne Nelson said. 

As of June 22, the infant was placed on a ventilator. He is also recovering from injuries to his abdomen. 

According to the suspect, he was the only one caring for the infant at the time of the incident. He told officials that the infant slipped out of his hands and hit his head on the bathtub. 

The Child Protection Team says the injuries do not appear to be consistent with the suspect's story. 

Jones was arrested at 3:09 p.m. on June 22 and his bond was set at $50,000.