SPRING HILL — Just 10 days after a Spring Hill resident was arrested on aggravated child abuse charges, which included accusations that he nearly killed his son, the man's wife was arrested Wednesday on the same charges.
Tammy White, 42, was arrested Wednesday on two counts of aggravated child abuse, records show. Her husband, Ronald White, was arrested July 25 and accused of beating his 16-year-old adopted son and forcing the boy to drink a gallon of water as a form of punishment.
The teen, who is blind and mentally challenged, collapsed the day after drinking the water and nearly died from septic shock, investigators say.
Paramedics rushed the teen, who was covered in bruises, to Spring Hill Regional Hospital. He was later taken to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg for treatment.
Investigators say Ronald White, 36, beat the teen regularly and locked him in a room every night, forcing him to soil himself because he was denied access to a bathroom.
On one occasion, the boy told investigators Ronald White punched him in the face, then struck him while he was on the ground before locking the teen in his bedroom.
The couple also has two adopted teenage daughters who have been removed from the home, said a spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Families. All three children had been adopted in the last two to three years.
White and his wife, records show, have often been in financial trouble. The pair has filed for bankruptcy twice in Georgia, once in 2005 and again in 2008. The Whites said they owed $116,722.98 in the first bankruptcy and $31,422.21 in the second. Both filings were eventually dismissed because the couple didn't make payments arranged for in the bankruptcy.
In Georgia, people have a financial incentive to adopt — up to $486.67 per month for 13- to 18-year-old children. For three kids in that age range, that's $17,520.12 a year.
It was unclear if those payments would have transferred to Florida or if the Whites would have received new financial incentives.
Tammy White was being held Wednesday in lieu of $20,000 bail. The reports detailing the her alleged actions had not been completed Wednesday afternoon.
Melvin Backman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 754-6114.