Saturday, December 16, 2017
Public safety

Police: Pinellas Park woman struck teenage daughter with baseball bat

A Pinellas Park woman was accused of aggravated child abuse Tuesday after police said she hit her 16-year-old daughter in the face with a baseball bat.

Police said Melvina Dukes, 39, was arguing with her daughter in their Pinellas Park home late Tuesday. She told police the daughter was out of control and scaring her, prompting her to pick up a bat in self defense, a police spokesman said.

Dukes brought the bat back over her shoulder as they argued and struck her daughter in the forehead with the butt of it, police said. When officers arrived, the teenager had a three centimeter cut on her forehead. She told police her daughter ran into the bat, but police said the girl's injury doesn't match Dukes' description of events.

The teenager was treated at St. Petersburg General Hospital, and Dukes' mother has offered to take the girl in, the spokesman said.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports show Dukes has been arrested several times on charges including shoplifting, grand theft and contributing to the delinquency of a child.

Dukes was charged with aggravated child abuse and transported to the Pinellas County Jail, where she remained Thursday in lieu of $15,000 bond.

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