Clearwater Police Charge Man With Aggravated Child Abuse

Joseph BentleyA 32-year-old Clearwater man has been charged with aggravated child abuse in connection with injuries suffered by his 3-month-old son.

Joseph Bentley of 822 Grand Central Ave., Apt. 1, is in the Pinellas County Jail. He was arrested Monday night on the felony charge after an investigation by Clearwater Police detectives.

The child suffered a bilateral skull fracture and two broken ribs early this month, but Bentley did not seek medical treatment for him at that time.

The suspect admitted to detectives that he forcefully picked up the child and squeezed him hard around the rib area, then slammed him into his own shoulder. He told police he had done it on three different occasions.

The injuries did not come to light until the victim’s grandmother – the suspect’s mother – took the child to a previously scheduled pediatric appointment. At that appointment, it was noticed the victim’s head was swollen.

The child then was taken to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, where he remains today.

Clearwater Police opened an investigation Monday into the child abuse.

Source: City of Cleatwater Public Safety