Friday, May 25, 2018
Public safety

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 [email protected] or (352) 848-1432. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.

Comments
Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Last year three members of the 69ers Motorcycle Club gang were implicated in the execution of a rival gang leader in the middle of rush hour traffic in Pasco County.Now those three and two other 69ers members have been indicted on federal charges tha...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Raccoon bites bicyclist, now the Health Department is looking for the victim

TAMPA — A bicyclist in the Palm River area was bitten by a raccoon Friday morning, the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County said.Now the department is concerned the animal had rabies and is searching for the bicyclist."While it is impo...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Police: Baby not abandoned; mother surrendered infant

TAMPA — A newborn baby initially thought to be found on the ground near a trash can in north Tampa was not abandoned, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.The child’s mother gave birth to the boy Thursday, and she and someone else too...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Student says science teacher tackled Indiana school shooter

Student says science teacher tackled Indiana school shooter

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — A male student opened fire at a suburban Indianapolis middle school Friday morning, wounding another student and a teacher before being taken into custody, authorities said. Seventh-grader Ethan Stonebraker said the science teache...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Woman, dog die trying to cross U.S. 19 in Hudson

PORT RICHEY— An unidentified 45-year-old Colorado woman and her dog died early Friday morning when they walked into the path of two vehicles on U.S. 19, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The woman was walking her dog around 5:40 a.m. across U.S...
Updated: 7 hours ago
A ‘coupon conundrum’ at a Largo Burger King landed him in jail

A ‘coupon conundrum’ at a Largo Burger King landed him in jail

LARGO— A flap over coupons led a Clearwater man to grab a Burger King employee and yank her over the counter, leading to his arrest, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.Miguel Latorre, 23, was trying to use several coupons to buy a Whop...
Updated: 7 hours ago
New signs indicate reduced Bayshore Boulevard speed limit after racing deaths

New signs indicate reduced Bayshore Boulevard speed limit after racing deaths

TAMPA — Two days after a mother and daughter were struck by a speeding car Bayshore Boulevard, killing both, city officials on Friday began implementing changes aimed at ensuring safety along the busy roadway.On Friday morning, workers began installi...
Updated: 8 hours ago
He is accused in 13 Gulfport vehicle burglaries. An ankle bracelet tipped police off.

He is accused in 13 Gulfport vehicle burglaries. An ankle bracelet tipped police off.

GULFPORT — An 18-year-old man, wearing an ankle bracelet, was arrested Thursday after he was accused of breaking into 13 cars in a one-block radius over the last week.Benjamin Langkamp Jr. faces 13 charges of vehicle burglary — each of which occurred...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Warrant issued for Tampa suspect in January slaying

Warrant issued for Tampa suspect in January slaying

TAMPA — Hillsborough County deputies have identified the suspect in the fatal shooting of a man in January.Deputies are searching for 23-year-old Javon Rakeem Turner, who is wanted in the death of 22-year-old Elijah Moore on Jan. 17.According to depu...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Two accused of turning St. Petersburg test drive into carjacking

Two accused of turning St. Petersburg test drive into carjacking

MADEIRA BEACH — Two men were arrested Thursday after a carjacking during a test drive led to a crash on Gulf Boulevard less than an hour later, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. According to deputies, 30-year-old Robert Gajate went t...
Updated: 11 hours ago