By: WCTV Eyewitness News
January 10, 2018
LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Lake City Police Department says a teenager is facing aggravated child abuse charges after his girlfriend's infant daughter was found with two broken bones in her arm.
Following an investigation, police arrested 19-year-old Malik Jackson.
LCPD says they were first contacted about the case by the Florida Department of Children and Families on Friday evening.
According to the complaint, Jackson and his girlfriend, 20-year-old Victora L. Pope, took Pope’s 6-month-old daughter to a local pediatrician. The pediatrician was concerned about injuries they observed on the child. Pope and Jackson were reportedly unreceptive to the diagnosis from the doctor and refused to follow the doctor’s orders for treatment.
Concerned for the child’s wellbeing, staff at the pediatric office contacted DCF, who made contact with the family at their home.
After observing the baby's injuries, DCF investigators took her to Shands Lake Shore Hospital, where doctors confirmed that the infant had recent, trauma-caused breaks to both bones in her arm.
DCF then took protective custody of the infant with assistance from the Lake City Police Department and a criminal investigation was launched.
During police interviews, Pope said that she often left the baby in Jackson's care. She told police she could recall several times in the past that the infant had returned with red marks and bruises, but she had never notified authorities.
LCPD says when Jackson was questioned regarding the infant’s broken arm, he told investigators that he believed it was merely a “birth defect." Later in the same interview, he stated that the infant had rolled over wrong and twisted her own arm. Police say both of these descriptions were inconsistent with findings from medical staff.
Police say Jackson is on probation in Georgia, and is under a court order to attend anger management classes and not to have contact with Pope.
Jackson was taken into custody and charged with aggravated child abuse. He is being held in the Columbia County Jail on $10,000 bond.
Officials say the baby girl remains in the care of DCF as the criminal investigation is ongoing.