PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pasco County couple is facing charges after deputies say they failed to call for medical care when a 14-month-old fell off a second-story balcony.
Deputies arrested 24-year-old Cristina Jiminez-Gomez and 23-year-old David Gomez-Diaz on Friday night at the Wind Tree Apartments in Port Richey.
When deputies got to the scene around 7 p.m., they say firefighters were evaluating a 1-year-old child who had fallen off a second-story screened-in balcony. Firefighters told deputies the child was being flown to St. Joe’s Hospital to be checked for internal injuries.
Madison Pryor and her roommate, both mothers, heard the child crying from their own apartment as they walked outside.
They say they found the boy limping near a pond.
“He was all covered in dirt and he was screaming like he was in pain. We both have babies, so we know a pain cry from a baby,” Pryor explained.
They picked up the baby and began knocking on doors. Fellow neighbors led them to Jiminez-Gomez and Gomez-Diaz.
“He like, snatched the baby from her and slammed the door. And we were like, [worried], so we called the cops,” Pryor said.
According to an arrest report, Jiminez-Gomez first told deputies she saw the child fall off the balcony but didn’t call 911 because the child didn’t seem hurt. Deputies say she later changed her story and claimed she didn’t see the child fall because she was too busy cooking dinner.
Deputies say Gomez-Diaz also changed his story. He first told deputies he wasn’t home when the child fell. The arrest report says he then said he was home but didn’t see the child fall because “all the children were running around and playing with each other.”
According to deputies, Gomez-Diaz first told them he believed one of the older children opened the door and the 1-year-old walked out and fell through the screen. Deputies say he then changed his story and said he came home from work and found the sliding glass door to the patio open along with a hole in the screen. He told deputies he didn’t call 911 because the child seemed “fine.”
“It’s sad because I could never imagine my baby falling from that high. Like, I get upset when he falls and just hits his face on the ground when he’s crawling, you know. I just can’t even,” Pryor said.
Jiminez-Gomez and Gomez-Diaz were both arrested and charged with child neglect and obstructing without violence.
The arrest report released by deputies does not include information on the child’s condition.
“You take your eyes off your baby for two seconds and something like that can happen. I take my eyes off him for one second and he’s over here putting something in his mouth. You’ve got to pay attention to, especially a little infant like this, they get into stuff, they don’t know any better, so you’ve got to pay attention,” Pryor said.