PALM HARBOR, Fla. - A Palm Harbor father was arrested on Tuesday after investigators say he failed to inform medical staff that his 3-month-old child had suffered a severe head injury.
Detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit arrested 24-year-old Joseph Lusardi on October 31.
Deputies began their initial investigation on October 25 when they were called to Mease Countryside Hospital after a 3-month-old child that was admitted to the hospital for seizure-like symptoms and vomiting. After the child was examined by the Child Protection Team on October 31, the case was then turned over to detectives in the Crimes Against Children Unit.
Through the investigation, detectives learned that Lusardi, the father of the child, called 911 on October 20 to report that the child was suffering from seizure-like symptoms. The child was transported to the hospital and was released on October 21 after receiving treatment for what doctors thought was acid reflux.
On October 22, the child's mother transported the child to After Hours Pediatric Urgent Care in Palm Harbor because the child was vomiting and not eating normally.
On the advice of doctors at the urgent care center, the mother transported the child back to Mease Countryside Hospital where the child was re-admitted to the hospital.
Detectives say that on October 23, while the victim was still in the hospital, Lusardi told the child's mother that the victim had fallen off a table while strapped in a car seat on October 20. The child's mother immediately informed hospital staff of the fall and a CT scan was ordered.
Doctors confirmed the child suffered from hemorrhaging on the brain and a skull fracture. The child was transferred to All Children's Hospital for further medical treatment.
Detectives say Lusardi told deputies on October 25, that he was at home alone caring for the child on October 20 when the child fell off a table while strapped in his car seat. Lusardi admitted to deputies that he withheld the information about the fall because he was scared.
On October 31, detectives arrested Lusardi and transported him to the Pinellas County Jail without incident.
Lusardi was charged with one count of neglect of a child.