ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A grandmother is facing a charge of child abuse after the St. Augustine Police Department said a grandchild left in her care had purple bruising up and down her back.
Authorities said the child was at Webster Elementary School and was acting withdrawn and quiet. When staff asked the child was was wrong, the child said her back hurt. Police report that while the child was in the nurses clinic, a staff member saw 4-inch by 2-inch bruising on the child's back.
Authorities said the child told the staff member at the school that her grandmother, Debra O'Sickey, had hit her with a belt that morning.
O'Sickey is the grandmother of Dixie O'Sickey, the two-year-old girl who nearly drowned behind Debra's home nearly a month ago. According to Dixie's uncle Thomas O'Sickey, Debra helped save Dixie's life by giving her CPR.
First Coast News is not identifying the child who had the marks on her back. However, the child's mother, Tiffany O'Sickey, said she believes her older daughter fibbed to school staff.
"I know she lies," Tiffany O'Sickey said. "She lies on her brother to get him in trouble. I believe what she says, yes, but there are some things you can't always believe her on. I know my mom would never, ever do that to her."
Tiffany O'Sickey said she trusts her mother, who often cares for her four children. "I trust my mom. If I were to die tomorrow, my kids would go to my mom. That's how much I trust her." Tiffany O'Sickey also believes the marks on the child's back are "probably" from falling on a toy.
Dixie's mother and Debra's daughter, Tiffany O'Sickey, wrote about her mother's arrest on Facebook Sunday:
"My mom is in jail for some [expletive] she never did but it's ok she will be out soon ok just don't worry about it it is being taken care of..." (sic)
Debra O'Sickey was arrested and placed under a $10,000 bond.