A 31-year-old Brooksville man faces aggravated child abuse charges after a child in his care was found unresponsive and covered in bruises on Thursday, Hernando deputies said.
The child was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital for treatment of a brain injury in the pediatric intensive care unit, where she remained as of Monday, according to a report from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.
Troy Matthew Hibbard told deputies he lost his temper with the child because of his pain medication and struck her with a door and picked her up and shook her violently, the report said.
The child, whose age was not released, and her 5-year-old brother were left in Hibbard’s care while their mother went to work between 11:15 a.m. and 9:20 p.m. on Thursday, according to the report. At the time, the child had some bruises on her arms, legs and forehead from playing, the child’s mother told deputies.
When interviewed by deputies, Hibbard first said he found the child gasping for air with her head stuck between a set of folding closet doors, the report said. A forensics’ technician videotaped a re-enactment of what Hibbard said happened but the child’s injuries didn’t coincide with his story, according to the report.
The child’s brother told deputies that Hibbard locks the girl inside her room for punishment and that he physically punishes her and is mean to her, the report said.
During a follow-up interview, Hibbard said he lost his temper and burst into the child’s room when she was crying, hitting her with the door, the report said. He picked her up and shook her violently and the girl kicked him, Hibbard told deputies. He was shaking so badly that he dropped the child and she landed with her head stuck between the closet doors, Hibbard said, according to the report.
The girl suffered a bilateral subdural hematoma, an injury usually associated with a traumatic brain injury, doctors said. She also had multiple bruises on her head, face, back, buttocks, arms and legs. Her right eye was black and blue with hemorrhaging at the bottom of the eye, doctors said, according to the report.
Hibbard was taken to the Hernando County Detention Center and was being held on $50,000 bond.