MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – A Miami Gardens man was arrested Wednesday, days after he severely beat his girlfriend's 22-month-old son while she was at work, authorities said.
According to an arrest report, the victim's mother had left him in the care of her boyfriend, Quindel Antwan Pigatt, 23, numerous times and has been in a relationship with Pigatt since November 2017, staying at his home on and off.
Police said she left her son with Pigatt Sunday while she was at work.
She told police Pigatt called her between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. and said her son had fallen from a step but was OK.
The woman left work early and arrived at Pigatt's home to find her son in distress and with a bump on his left hip, authorities said.
Police said the toddler's mother took him to the emergency room at Jackson North Medical Center at midnight and he was later transferred to Jackson Memorial's Holtz Children's Hospital by ambulance.
After examining the child and conducting a CT scan, a doctor at the hospital determined that the boy had suffered eight fractured ribs and internal bleeding in his chest, outside the lungs and right above the kidney. The toddler also suffered a lacerated liver and trauma to his intestines.
According to the arrest report, Pigatt went to the Miami Gardens Police Department Tuesday to speak with detectives and again claimed that the toddler had fallen from a step. Police said Pigatt denied hitting the child and confirmed that he was alone with him at the time he was injured.
A forensic examination of the victim was conducted Wednesday, at which time another doctor determined the victim had acute abdominal trauma, including lacerations to the liver and adrenal gland, as well as a build-up of excess fluid between the layers of the pleura outside the lungs. He also had multiple rib fractures and two fractures to his left leg and swelling to the right frontal scalp, as well as to the thighs and forearms. The victim also suffered four compression fractures of the spine, the arrest report stated.
Pigatt was arrested Thursday on an aggravated child abuse charge. He is being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
The Florida Department of Children and Families has opened an investigation into the incident.