PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A soldier was arrested in Pasco County on aggravated child abuse charges after reportedly dropping his 3-month-old child on Christmas Eve, leading to multiple bone breaks, the Pasco County Sheriff’s office said. The soldier told police the fall was an accident.
The sheriff’s office released an affidavit that detailed the circumstances of the soldier’s arrest. Brandon Uffre, 25, is employed by the U.S. Army.
At 2 a.m. on Dec. 24, Uffre was “in the care, custody, control” of the victim, a three-month-old. Uffre told deputies that around 2 a.m. he fell with the child in his arms while walking around the apartment he was staying in with the mother of the child and the victim. He said he tripped, landing on the carpeted floor.
According to the affidavit, Uffre did not immediately tell the mother what happened due to a fear that “he would get into trouble” because of the injuries to the child. At 11 a.m., the mother took the child to the hospital after she noticed swelling in the child’s jaw.
The mother told deputies that when she asked Uffre if anything had happened while she was sleeping overnight, he said nothing had. Then as they got to the hospital, he reportedly admitted to her the injuries were his fault because he’d fallen while holding the child.
At 11 p.m. on Dec. 24, deputies spoke with a doctor at Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. The doctor told deputies the three-month-old victim “had a broken mandible in three separate spots.” The doctor said the mandible was broken on both the left and right sides and also in front, below the victim’s mouth.
According to the doctor, the victim also “had several new subdural hemorrhages on his brain.” The child is in serious condition, according to the PCSO affidavit. The victim will need reconstructive facial surgery, according to the doctor from Saint Joseph’s.
Deputies arrested Uffre after the doctor told them “the only way the victim could have received these type of injuries were if the victim had been in a serious car accident or child abuse.”
Uffre confirmed to deputies during an interview that neither he nor the mother had been in a car accident with the child.
Deputies requested Uffre be held on a high bond as a result of “the severe injuries to the three-month-old victim,” as well as the fact that “the defendant is active duty Army and is only in town for nine days.” Uffre was expected to report to a military base outside of Florida after his stay, locally.
Uffre’s bond was set at $100,000, according to the sheriff’s office affidavit.