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Largo man accused of causing brain injuries to baby in his care

LARGO — A man is facing child abuse charges after police say he shook and slapped a baby, causing severe brain injuries that sent the child to the hospital.

Justin Thomas Arthur Friend, of Largo, had sole care of the baby during the afternoon of Dec. 15, when the abuse took place, according to an arrest report. At some point, he removed the baby from a crib and repeatedly shook the child and slapped the child's face.

The baby was taken to All Children's Hospital on Dec. 22 after being found unresponsive, the report said. A medical examination revealed the baby suffered bleeding on the brain, retinal hemorrhaging and strained ligaments in the neck.

Friend, 23, admitted during questioning that he shook and slapped the child, police said.

He was booked Wednesday in the Pinellas County Jail on charges of child abuse-aggravated battery with great bodily harm, battery, tampering with a witness and several unrelated traffic offenses. He was held without bond.

Largo man accused of causing brain injuries to baby in his care 12/28/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 28, 2012 9:23pm]

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