Detectives in Polk County have accused a 32-year-old man of beating a 2-year-old with a clothes hanger – because he couldn't pronounce his sister's name correctly.
The sheriff's office says David Lee Sinnett of Bartow was arrested on one count of aggravated child abuse.
According to an arrest affidavit, Sinnett took a clothes hanger and beat the boy, who has a speech impediment, on his face and body. The beating caused bruising and severely injured his eye, detectives said.
Among the injuries were a black eye and fractured orbital bone.
Witnesses interviewed by detectives said Sinnett beat the child "because he couldn't pronounce his sister's name correctly," according to the sheriff's office.
In an interview with detectives, Sinnett said he does get upset about the boy's ability to pronounce words. However, he said he hit him because he came to close to an electrical outlet. He also claimed the bruising came from a skateboarding accident.
He was booked in the Polk County Jail and is being held on $175,000 bond.
Deputies also arrested 29-year-old Arlene Tinson, and charged her with child neglect, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. They say she saw the abuse and did nothing to stop it.
The sheriff's office said Sinnett has been in Polk County jail eight times before. Most recently, he was arrested on second-degree murder charges and attempted second-degree murder charges.
He served five years in state prison for those crimes.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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