A St. Petersburg man has been arrested after he reportedly punched a 5-year-old boy he was caring for, in the head and abdomen, causing severe injuries.
John Gerald Whelan, 41, was charged with aggravated child abuse with great bodily harm and child neglect.
Fire rescue and police were called to a home in St. Pete at 7:42 p.m. on Thursday, August 10 for a 5-year-old boy having medical issues. The child was transported to Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital where doctors discovered multiple physical injuries and detectives were called to investigate.
The boy was suffering from bruising and trauma to his face, rib fractures, internal bleeding and damage to his organs. He remains in critical condition.
Neighbor Danny Walsh sound he often heard loud sounds from Whelan's apartment, but he never though abuse was occuring.
"I feel like I kinda let the kid down I should have known something," said Walsh.
During the investigation, detectives found that Whelan hit the boy in the head and abdomen with his closed fist.
Detectives say the abuse happened over the last several months and Whelan did not seek medical attention for the child.
The investigation is ongoing. Whelan is in jail on a $300,000 bond.