KISSIMMEE, Fla. - A 41-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder after he threw a 2-year-old boy from a second-story motel balcony before jumping, Kissimmee authorities said.
Detectives said Juan Pablo Maradiaga had apparently been drinking and was frustrated that his son was feeling sick early Tuesday morning.
The boy's mother told police she usually takes the toddler to a
baby-sitter, but Maradiaga had asked to spend time with the child.
Police said she agreed but later received a phone call from Maradiaga asking her to come home because he was frustrated, but the woman was unable to leave work at the time.
About 30 minutes later, however, Maradiaga intentionally threw the toddler 25 feet over the second-story balcony and then hurled himself over as well, police said.
Frantic 911 calls came into Kissimmee police overnight after the boy and his father were found in the parking lot.
Caller: "I just pulled up to the parking lot and see them lying on the ground unconscious."
"People was yelling and screaming, 'Call the police, call the police,'" a witness told Channel 9.
911 operator : "OK, how old is the child?"
Caller: "Well the child is very young, he look like he's two."
When authorities arrived, they found the toddler and Maradiaga lying on the ground in the parking lot of a Budget Inn on East Vine Street.
The child was flown to Arnold Palmer Hospital, where doctors said he suffered fractured bones and major bruising and bleeding. The boy, however, is expected to recover.
"The baby was crying," one witness told Channel 9. "The baby had a knot on his head and blood. It was a sad sight."
Maradiaga is also expected to recover, but authorities said he'll be taken straight to jail once discharged from the hospital.
The Department of Children and Families has been contacted and is working with the Kissimmee Police Department on the case.
"At age two, that would be our concern. Not only the physical scars, but the emotional," said Carrie Proudfit of DCF.
DCF said they've never been alerted to any trouble with the family in the past.