Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hanger jammed in boy's throat

ST. PETERSBURG — James Spencer Adams told police that he was just roughhousing with the boy, that it was all an accident.

St. Petersburg police say that cannot explain how the hook of a plastic hanger ended up being jammed down the throat of an 8-year-old on Wednesday, leaving him bleeding.

It had to be intentional, police say, and they know who did it: Adams, the boy's 63-year-old stepgrandfather.

"There is no rhyme or reason to it," said Sgt. Katy Connor-Dubina. "I don't have a clue why he would do this."

Soon after he was injured, police say, the boy went to his mother, who took him to a hospital, where doctors called the Department of Children and Families, which led state workers to call police.

Adams was arrested early Thursday morning on a charge of aggravated child abuse and held in lieu of $125,000 bail. Police withheld the victim's name.

Connor-Dubina used both hands to demonstrate how Adams might have held the bottom of the hanger as he forced the hook down the struggling boy's throat — police think he may have pinned the child to the ground while he did it.

"Whatever happened got way out of hand," said Connor-Dubina, who heads the agency's crimes-against-children unit.

The boy told police he never wanted to roughhouse with Adams, who told police it was just an accident. His arrest report said he admitted to "guiding the hanger" into the child's mouth, then cleaning blood from it.

Adams has been arrested and convicted of driving under the influence several times, according to state records, the last arrest coming in 2001. He was also arrested on a charge of possession of cocaine in 1986.

The hanger caused a puncture which left the boy bleeding from his mouth, according to Connor-Dubina, The hanger also tore the victim's tonsils and caused other internal throat injuries that required him to spend the night at All Children's Hospital.

The child was able to speak when he went to the hospital, police say. His condition was unknown Thursday.

Adams pleaded not guilty when he made his first court appearance Thursday. A judge ordered him not to have any contact with his stepgrandson.

Researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Jamal Thalji can be reached at thalji@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8472.

Hanger jammed in boy's throat 11/20/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 24, 2008 8:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Clearwater police fatally shoot suicidal man after threat at hotel

    Public Safety

    CLEARWATER — Police fatally shot a armed suicidal man who threatened officers at a hotel early Thursday morning.

  2. White nationalist Richard Spencer is scheduled to speak at the University of Florida tonight and the school is on high alert for tensions. [Associated Press]
  3. Bowen: Park land deal raises Penny for Pasco questions

    Environment

    The Penny for Pasco is unambiguous.

    At least it is supposed to be.

    There was no equivocating in 2004 when Penny for Pasco supporters detailed how the sales tax proceeds would be spent: schools, transportation, public safety and environmental lands. No money for parks. No money for recreation.

    Pasco County is considering a loan from its Environmental Lands Acquisition and Mangement Program to buy land for a park in the Villages of Pasadena Hills in east-central Pasco. Shown here is the Jumping Gully Preserve in Spring Hil, acquired by ELAMP in 2009 and 2011.
[Douglas R. Clifford, Times]
  4. Another Tampa Bay agency loses tax credits worth millions in dispute over application error

    News

    LARGO — Another Tampa Bay housing agency has lost out on a multi-million dollar tax credit award because of problems with its application.

    A duplex in Rainbow Village, a public housing complex in Largo. The Pinellas County Housing Authority is planning to build new affordable-housing in the complex but was recently disqualified from a state tax credit award because of an issue with its application.
  5. Live blog: Many unknowns as Richard Spencer speaks in Gainesville today

    College

    GAINESVILLE — A small army of law enforcement officers, many of them from cities and counties around the state, have converged on the University of Florida in preparation for today's speaking appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer.

    Florida Highway Patrol cruisers jammed the parking lot Wednesday at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in Gainesville, part of a big show of force by law enforcement ahead of Thursday's appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer. [KATHRYN VARN | Times]