A St. Petersburg man was arrested Saturday on charges he beat and cut a 2-month-old child in his care.
The baby was having trouble breathing when taken to All Children's Hospital early Saturday, deputies said. The infant had a laceration on the abdomen, a broken rib and bruising behind the right ear. The report did not note the baby's gender.
Deputies said Nathaniel A. Zemola, 24, was supposed to be looking after the baby Friday night while the child's mother was working. According to an arrest affidavit, he told deputies he pushed the child's knees into its stomach to relieve gas, but did not intentionally hurt the baby. The baby was put on a ventilator and underwent several surgeries and was in critical condition Tuesday, deputies said. Zemola was charged with one count of aggravated child abuse and taken to the Pinellas County Jail, where he remained Tuesday without bail.