'He sat on her': Girl, 4, in critical condition after father almost suffocates her, deputies say

Samantha Manning reports.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A 4-year-old girl was critically injured Tuesday evening when her 28-year-old father almost suffocated her at a home in the Tangelo Park neighborhood, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies said they were called shortly before 7:45 p.m. to a home on Pomelo Drive near West Sand Lake Road and South John Young Parkway, where they discovered the unresponsive girl.

As firefighters loaded the girl into an ambulance, multiple people were screaming and crying and shouted, "He sat on her. He sat on her," an arrest report said.

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Investigators said Michael Dublin appeared emotionless and was only worried about whether he was going to jail.

Witnesses said Dublin often visits the home but does not live there, the report said.

According the report, witnesses tried to enter a room because they heard screaming, but Dublin told them to get out.

They said Dublin tried to suffocate the girl by forcing her head into a bed and holding it down with a brown pillow, the report said.

Witnesses said they saw Dublin pour bleach into a water bottle and force the mixture into the girl's mouth, the report said.

Deputies said the bed was in disarray, with pillows and blankets scattered everywhere.

They said they also discovered a water bottle on a television stand that appeared to be filled with water but that smelled of bleach. It is unknown if the girl ingested its contents.

Neighbor Sherman Morris told Channel 9 that the commotion awoke him.

"You had four or five kids running around screaming," he said. "She was limp like a wet dish rag. She was limp."

The girl was taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in critical but stable condition.

Dublin was arrested on charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse.

The Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Children and Families continue to investigate the incident.

Check back and watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News for live updates on this developing story.