BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County sheriff's deputies say a 31-year-old Weeki Wachee man badly injured a toddler after losing his temper, hitting the girl and shaking her while he was left in charge of his girlfriend's two children.
Troy Matthew Hibbard faces a charge of aggravated battery on a child. He was being held Monday at the Hernando County Detention Center with bail set at $50,000.
On Thursday, deputies responded to a home near Brooksville after getting a call from emergency medical services about a child found limp and unresponsive. The child, whose identity and exact age were not released, was taken by helicopter to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. Her condition was not available Monday.
After initially telling deputies a different story, Hibbard said he had lost his temper as a result of his pain medication. He said he burst into the crying toddler's room and hit her with the door. He said he picked the girl up and shook her, according to an arrest affidavit. He then dropped the child on the floor, where her head became stuck between the folding closet doors, the affidavit says.
According to an arrest affidavit, the child's mother left her two children in the care of Hibbard, a live-in boyfriend, while she was at work.
Doctors at St. Joseph's discovered the toddler suffered a bilateral subdural hematoma and had bruises on her head, face, back, buttocks, arms and legs. Her right eye was black and blue and had hemorrhaging. There were several sores on the inside of her lips. The injuries were not accidental, according to the Sheriff's Office.
An interview with the toddler's 5-year-old brother found that Hibbard often kept the girl locked in her bedroom as punishment. He said that Hibbard is the only one who physically punishes the girl and is mean to her.
Contact Danny Valentine at [email protected] or (352) 848-1432. Follow @HernandoTimes.