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4-year-old critically injured, 2 arrested for child abuse

10:52 AM, Nov 16, 2012   |    comments
  • Santos Velez (L), Brandy Vanslooten-Caldwell (R)
  • Brandy Vanslooten-Caldwell
  • Santos Velez
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JACKSONVILE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrested two people on charges of aggravated child abuse after a 4-year-old was taken to Baptist South Hospital with critical injuries.

After arriving at the hospital, the child was flown by air ambulance to Shands Jacksonville the night of November 10.

A Jacksonville Sheriff's Officer working off-duty at Shands learned from nursing staff that the child's injuries were life-threatening and that it was indicative of child abuse, according to an arrest report from JSO.

Detectives interviewed 25-year-old Brandy Vanslooten-Caldwell to determine how the 4-year-old was injured.

The arrest report said Vanslooten-Caldwell provided inconsistent information to the medical staff and the Department of Children and Families (DCF).  The report said she did not provide any information that would corroborate the child's injuries.

Police took Vanslooten-Caldwell to the Homicide Unit Office at the JSO Police Memorial Building.  Once there they questioned her further about the child's injuries.

After being read her Miranda Rights, she told police she gave 40-year-old Santos Velez permission to discipline the 4-year-old.

Vanslooten-Caldwell told police, according to the report, on previous occasions Velez would whip the child with an extension cord or a belt, sometimes leaving welts.

The report said she told Velez his disciplining was too harsh but still continued to allow him to do so.  Vanslooten-Caldwell told police Velez would close the child's bedroom door so she would not hear him disciplining the child.

Friday night, Vanslooten-Caldwell told police, Velez disciplined the child.  Velez told police he disciplined the child because they told him they had to use the potty but when he took the child to the bathroom they did not urinate.

Velez told police, according to the arrest report, he pushed his knee into the 4-year-old's stomach while he held the child down on their bedroom floor.

The report said Vanslooten-Caldwell told police she heard a loud thump, the child make a "gargling" noise and then Velez repeatedly tell the child to "get up."

Vanslooten-Caldwell told police she did not intervene because she was afraid Velez would physically harm her.

Police arrested Vanslooten-Caldwel charging her with child neglect.  She is being held in the Duval County Jail on $250,003 bond.

Santos Velez is charged with aggravated child abuse, he is being held in the Duval County Jail as well.  His bond is also set at $250,003.


First Coast News

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