‘Sickening’: Man accused of abusing, burning 8-month-old baby, sheriff says

James Allen Clark

RIVERVIEW, Fla. — A west-central Florida man is accused of severely abusing and burning an 8-month-old baby who was in his care, authorities said.

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James Allen Clark, 33, of Riverview, was arrested on Feb. 22 and charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse, one count of child abuse and one count of child neglect, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office online booking records.

According to a Friday news release from the sheriff’s office, a woman left her child in Clark’s care when she went to work on Feb. 18.

The woman told authorities that she received a telephone call from Clark, who said that the baby had accidentally put their hand in a cup of hot chocolate and was burned, WTVT reported.

When the woman returned home, she observed that her child had suffered “severe injuries” and discovered bruises on their body, according to the television station.

The woman took the child to an area hospital, WFLA-TV reported.

According to the sheriff’s office, the baby “suffered injuries to the ears from high-velocity force, broken blood vessels, a non-displaced left parietal fracture, and a significant burn needing skin grafting.”

Clark was arrested on Feb. 22 and booked into the Falkenburg Road Jail in Tampa, online records show.

“The magnitude of this case is indescribable; the thought that someone could inflict such harm on a defenseless eight-month-old baby is sickening,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “We are disgusted by this man’s actions and will ensure that he is held accountable for his cruelty. We’re committed to making sure every child is secure and protected.”

An investigation is ongoing.