Man who put bleach in infant's bottle says he thought he was helping her

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OCALA, Fla. —

A father in Ocala arrested on charges of putting bleach in his 2-month-old baby girl's bottle spoke with reporters from the jailhouse on Monday.

Carron Washington, a pre-med student, told police he didn't mean to harm his daughter, Caelynn, and that he thought the bleach would help with her chronic congestion problems.

Washington said a friend at his college told him the bleach was some sort of home remedy to help with breathing.

“I was told by another friend of mine that giving baby a top of bleach, the top of it would help her breath a little better,” said Washington.  “I decided to put a little bit in it to see if it would help.”

Police said Washington mixed a cap full of bleach with Caelynn’s baby bottle and fed it to her Sunday at their Ocala home.

The mother told police she fed Caelynn and then a few moments later, the baby vomited and the mother could smell bleach.

“At first, he denied what was going on,” said Lt. Billy Wood. “After several interviews, the stories changed.”

Washington and his family insist it wasn't intentional.

“It wasn't a smart thing to do, but Carron doesn't know,” said Washington’s sister. “It’s his first baby.”

“It was a dumb decision on me. I heard someone else did it, so I wanted to try to help her,” said Washington.

Caelynn has been sick since birth with a breathing ailment, but the 2-month-old is expected to recover.

The Department of Children and Families is now investigating, and Washington has been ordered to stay away from the infant when she comes home from the hospital.  An emergency custody hearing has been set for Tuesday at 1 p.m.

Washington is facing a felony charge that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He’s being held on $25,000 bond.