Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man charged with aggravated child abuse in Spring Hill incident

SPRING HILL — A 30-year-old South Carolina man has been accused of seriously injuring a 3-month-old boy last week after he threw and shook the infant when he wouldn't stop crying, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

Michael Polyak of Spartanburg, S.C., faces a charge of aggravated child abuse. He was being held Wednesday evening at the Hernando County Detention Center in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Authorities would not disclose the relationship between Polyak and the infant, whom they did not name. The boy and his family, the Sheriff's Office said, are from South Carolina and were visiting family members in Florida.

At about 7:30 p.m. Friday, the Sheriff's Office responded to a 911 call on Eunice Avenue in Spring Hill about an unconscious boy who was having difficulty breathing. Polyak told authorities the boy suddenly became limp and unresponsive while he was holding him.

The boy was taken to Oak Hill Hospital, where doctors determined the child had suffered a severe and significant brain injury as a result of trauma. The boy was transferred to All Children's Hospital.

When questioned, Polyak told deputies that the boy had fallen off a sofa three days earlier. On Monday, he changed his story.

He told deputies he became frustrated with the boy, who had been crying continuously. He said he began "rocking and shaking" him excessively, then threw him down on the sofa, the Sheriff's Office reported.

Physicians said the boy's injuries were consistent with what Polyak described and re-enacted.

Polyak repeatedly referred to himself as a "monster" as he was interviewed by authorities. He said he regretted not feeding the baby, which he thinks would have stopped the crying.

He was arrested Tuesday evening.

State records show Polyak was convicted in Palm Beach County in 2011 for failing to register as a sex offender. Information about the sex offense was not available Wednesday.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Danny Valentine can be reached at or (352) 848-1432. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.

Man charged with aggravated child abuse in Spring Hill incident 10/30/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 8:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Authorities say cocaine is making comeback in Florida


    FORT LAUDERDALE — Drug enforcement officials say traffickers are bringing more cocaine into South Florida than at any time in the past decade.

    Traffickers are bringing more cocaine into South Florida than at any time in the past decade, officials say.  [Times files]
  2. Amid escalating Russia crisis, Trump considers major staff changes


    President Donald Trump and his advisers, seeking to contain the escalating Russia crisis that threatens to consume his presidency, are considering a retooling of his senior staff and the creation of a "war room" within the White House, according to several aides and outside Trump allies.

    President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a retooling of his senior staff. [Doug Mills/The New York Times]
  3. Karen Lugo, 13, from Tampa, holds up her IPad Mini to take a picture of herself while relaxing in the sand alongside her mother, Karen Castro (on left), at the North Beach area of Fort DeSoto on Memorial Day (05/27/13). Karen comes to the beach with her family for holidays, she said. Also present was her older brother and three cousins.
  4. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose


    UPDATE, 12:34: Cash said he has been pleased with Sucre's work and is trying to find playing time for him. ... Cash also said after reading Farquhar's comments about having trouble re-focusing after getting out of a jam and then going back out for a second inning he will factor that in to how he uses him. ... …

  5. To many Americans, Memorial Day has lost its meaning


    ANNVILLE, Pa. — Allison Jaslow heard it more than once as the long holiday weekend approached — a cheerful "Happy Memorial Day!" from oblivious well-wishers.

    Sgt. Heather Lynn Johnsen, of Roseville, Calif., guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Friday, March 22, 1996, in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. [Associated Press file]