TARPON SPRINGS - Detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit have arrested a Tarpon Springs man Feb. 12 for child abuse after he allegedly caused two fractures to a child’s right leg because he was angry and frustrated over financial issues.
According to a report from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Joshua Clifford Spencer, 22, was arrested about 3:30 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Administration Building in Largo. The crime occurred at a private residence in north Pinellas.
Crimes Against Children detectives began investigating the crime after a female relative of the child reported that Spencer might have hurt the 14-month-old female. The relative also reported that the suspect had also battered her.
Spencer was first arrested on the evening of Feb. 10 for domestic battery and transported to the Pinellas County Jail. He was released on bond on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 8 p.m. Through further investigation into the child abuse allegations, detectives learned the child’s right leg had been fractured in two locations. The relative told deputies that the suspect was angry and frustrated over financial issues and that the two had had an argument about the matter.
The unnamed relative told detectives that she had left the child in Spencer’s care Feb. 10 and when she returned Spencer told her that something was wrong with the baby’s leg. The two transported the child to the hospital for treatment.
Detectives continued their investigation and Spencer responded to the Sheriff’s Administration Building for an interview Feb. 12. He initially told detectives that he’d fallen while holding the baby and that the baby’s leg had become caught underneath him.
Detectives said he then admitted to handling the child in a rough manner while changing her diaper, causing the fractures to the leg. He was arrested for aggravated child abuse and transported to the Pinellas County Jail without further incident.