A Florida woman was recently arrested in connection with allegations of child abuse after a referral by children’s advocates.
Brittany White, 24, stands accused of one count of intentional child abuse by the Springfield Police Department, according to an affidavit and complaint obtained by Law&Crime.
In a press release, the SPD said their investigation began after officers were contacted by the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center regarding a baby who may have been shaken by his mother.
“Officers made contact with Ms. White and representatives from the GCCAC’s Healthy Start Program at Ms. White’s residence,” the press release notes. “[A]nd the decision was made to transport the baby to Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center for evaluation.”
According to the affidavit, Healthy Start Care Coordinator Adriana Sosa was meeting with the defendant and her 3-month-old, C.L., on Oct. 12, 2022. The document alleges that the child advocate “noted several indicators of concern including a pronounced lack of pupil tracking and object fixation.”
A follow-up visit allegedly confirmed the extent of the abuse.
Two days later, Sosa and a co-worker returned to the White residence. “During their conversation with the defendant, she began to cry and stated that about two weeks before that date, she ‘shaken’ her then two and a half month child because he wouldn’t stop crying.”
Later that same day, Oct. 14, 2022, White was read her Miranda rights and gave a videotaped confession, according to the affidavit.
Arresting SPD Officer Jason Smith writes that White said “she became frustrated with C.L after he wouldn’t stop crying, so she grabbed hold of his torso with both hands and shook him for a couple seconds.”
The affidavit and complaint goes on:
She described the shaking as “roughly” and stated that after it happened, she hugged the child and apologized to him before laying him in bed and leaving the room. The Defendant is aware that what she did is wrong and that “shaking” an infant can cause long lasting injury and harm to the child.
The arrest document says that “without further testing,” medical staff at Gulf Coast Hospital “is unable to determine if C.L. sustained an injury” from the alleged shaking. But now that document is now allegedly somewhat out of date.
“The doctors discovered some preexisting bone fractures on one of the legs that were in the healing process,” SPD Assistant Police Chief Russell Voyles told Panama City, Fla.-based ABC affiliate WMBB. “We don’t know how far into the healing process they were so we do know that there are going to be some other injuries there that we have to address.”
According to the TV station, citing investigators, the baby boy may have also suffered detached retinas from the alleged abuse.
“We’re waiting for the medical staff to make a better diagnostic diagnosis on the child so that we can go forward with potentially some additional charges,” Voyles continued. “No matter how frustrated you are with a child, it is not ok to shake them. It can cause lifelong consequences that are completely life-altering. If you’re frustrated and you put the baby down and walk away. You need to take a breath. Shaking the baby is never an okay option.”
White appeared in court for a bond hearing over the weekend and is currently on pre-trial release.
[image via Springfield Police Department]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]