CLEARWATER – Clearwater Police charged a 32-year-old Clearwater man with aggravated child abuse in connection with injuries suffered by his 3-month-old son, according to a police report.
Joseph Bentley of 822 Grand Central Ave. was arrested on March 17 on the felony charge after an investigation by Clearwater Police. The child suffered a bilateral skull fracture and two broken ribs early this month, but Bentley did not seek medical treatment for him at the time, the report said.
The suspect later admitted to detectives that he forcefully picked up the child and squeezed him hard around the rib area and then slammed him into his own shoulder, the report said, and that he had done this on three different occasions.
The injuries did not come to light until the victim’s grandmother – the suspect’s mother – took the child to a previously scheduled pediatric appointment. At that appointment, it was noticed that the victim’s head was swollen.
The child was taken to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, where he remains. A Clearwater Police investigation was opened on March 17 into child abuse.
Bentley is being held at the Pinellas County Jail, and no bond is listed.