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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Ocala man arrested for cruelty after claiming he was swatting mosquito off child’s face

An Ocala man currently faces a charge of cruelty towards children after claiming a baby had bruises on her face because he was trying to kill a mosquito that landed on her.

On July 25, a Marion County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a major crime’s special victims unit report in reference to a baby having multiple bruises.

During the incident call received by emergency personnel on July 24, the caller stated that 53-year-old Ernest Newbern stated he “slapped the baby too hard” when trying to remove a mosquito from her face, according to the sheriff’s report.

The baby was transported to Advent Health and a doctor said he observed the victim and noted she had poor hygiene including dirty toenails and dirt in her belly button. The doctor advised he saw the multiple brownish colored bruises on the baby’s face along with bug bites on her body.

Newbern told the doctor he went to smack a mosquito on the baby’s face before July 23 and then noticed the bruises on the baby the following day. The doctor said the bruises he saw on the baby were not typical of someone getting “smacked” in the face, according to the report.

Newbern claims he has “heavy hands” and he had no intention of hurting the baby, the report states.

A pediatric nurse reported she saw older bruises on the victim’s forehead down the left side of her face, the report stated.

The deputy reported he observed several used cleaning wipes on the victim’s hospital bed and in the trash can by the bed that had apparently been used to clean the victim, the report stated.

A nurse from a child protection agency determined there were positive findings for physical injury, according to the report.

The mother of the victim spontaneously stated they’ve been through five previous investigations by child protection services in Indiana that were closed. The mother reported they are currently living out of their vehicle, according to the report.

The mother claims on July 23 while they were all in the vehicle, Newbern hit a mosquito on the baby’s face causing a bruise. The mother claims the baby started crying and Newbern struck the baby in the face with the palm of his hand “a little too hard” to get the mosquito off her, the report revealed.

Newbern claims he saw a “big mosquito” on the victim and struck the victim’s face to kill the bug. He claims he didn’t realize he had struck the victim “that hard.” He claims after he struck the victim, she went down quietly and back to sleep, according to the report.

The deputy reported at the conclusion of his investigation, he determined Newbern committed an intentional act that did result in physical injury to the victim, the report stated.

Newbern was arrested and transported to the Marion County Jail with a bond set at $5,000. He is charged with cruelty towards children and a court date is set for August 24 at 9 a.m., jail records show.