TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A 19-year-old Port Richey woman was arrested after police said she was spotted on hospital video squeezing a 7-month-old relative until he became unresponsive.
Violet Mae Hinrichs was arrested on four counts of aggravated child abuse after St. Joseph’s Hospital staff noticed bruising to the baby’s neck.
The boy was in the hospital under observation for seizures and sleep apnea. Authorities say Hinrichs was observed on video on four occasions squeezing the child until his heart rate and brain waves dropped to dangerous levels. Afterward, the child was observed struggling, flailing his arms, turning blue and ultimately becoming unresponsive.
Police didn’t say how the child is related to the woman.
Hinrich is being held at the Hillsborough County Jail on $80,000 bail. It’s unclear whether she’s retained an attorney.
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