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Clearwater man accused of fracturing baby son's ribs, skull

Joseph Bentley, 32, said he squeezed and slammed the 3-month-old boy, police said.

Joseph Bentley, 32, said he squeezed and slammed the 3-month-old boy, police said.

CLEARWATER — Officers arrested a 32-year-old man Monday night, accusing him of beating his 3-month-old son and fracturing his ribs and skull, police said.

Joseph Bentley of Clearwater faces a charge of aggravated child abuse.

According to Clearwater police, the baby suffered a bilateral skull fracture and two broken ribs earlier this month, but Bentley did not seek medical attention for his son.

The injuries weren't discovered until the boy's grandmother took him to a pediatric appointment on Monday, where a doctor noticed his head was swollen, police said.

The baby was taken to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, where he remained Tuesday.

During an investigation, Bentley admitted to detectives that he forcefully picked up his son, squeezed him around the rib area, and then slammed him into his shoulder. He said he had struck the boy on three occasions, police said.

Bentley was booked into the Pinellas County jail, where he remained Tuesday with bail set at $200,000.

Clearwater man accused of fracturing baby son's ribs, skull 03/18/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 10:24pm]
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