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Lakeland police arrest mother on neglect charge

Tribune staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 11:24 AM

An Indiana woman is facing child neglect charges after taking her toddler to a hospital with severe injuries, Lakeland police said.

About 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, police responded to Lakeland Regional Medical Center in reference to a possible child abuse victim. Upon arrival, medical personnel told them a 23-month-old girl was suffering from a skull fracture to the back of the head, a concussion, a swollen and bruised right eye and bruising around the ears.

Officers spoke with the mother, Shaquila Allen, 20, of South Bend, Ind., who gave conflicting information on how the injuries happened, police said. She first told medical personnel the child fell off a chair, then that the child fell off a couch. She then admitted that between 10 and 11 a.m., she discovered the injury to the victim's right eye, but did not seek medical attention because she was afraid she would go to jail.

Allen told police the only people with the victim were herself and her boyfriend, Deangelo Johnson, 18. Eventually she said her live-in boyfriend might have kicked the child, police said.

Police have been unable to speak with Johnson.

The child is in stable condition with what are considered non-life threatening injuries, police said.

After speaking with several family members, police arrested Allen and took her to Polk County Jail. The investigation is ongoing, and further charges are possible, police said.

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