A Miami Beach man is behind bars on child abuse charges after he punched his girlfriend's 4-year-old son in his stomach, causing the boy's bowels to rupture, police said Friday.
Gabby Cancel, 23, was arrested Thursday on charges of aggravated child abuse and assault, according to a Miami Beach Police report. The child's mother, 25-year-old Mirta Alfonso, was also arrested and charged with accessory after the fact and resisting an officer without violence.
According to the report, the young boy told a nurse at Miami Children's Hospital that Cancel had choked him then told him to put his hands up and punched him in the "tummy," the report said.
The boy told the nurse that Cancel told him if he told his mom about being hit, Cancel would hit him again, the report said.
The young boy suffered blunt force trauma to his abdomen as a result of the punch, requiring immediate surgery to remove several inches of his bowels, the report said.
"The detectives are veteran detectives working it and they're shaking their heads, can't believe it. What would possess somebody to do this to an innocent child? Hopefully, we'll get him to recover and then we'll worry about our investigation and work with the state attorney's office to make sure he goes tojailf or a very long time," said Bobby Hernandez, spokesman for Miami Beach Police.
He also had two small bruises on his lower abdomen, a large bruise on the middle of his back and a small bruise on the lower part of his back, the report said.
"The 4 year old victim through tears identified a photo of the subject as the person who hit him in the stomach," the report said.
Officials with the Department of Children and Families said they're investigating the incident. They said there is no history with the family as as of now there won't be a shelter hearing because the boy is still in the hospital.
"He's still in the hospital, still in intensive care and we're just praying he pulls through," Hernandez said.
When officers attempted to arrest Cancel, the 5-foot-11, 250-pound man tried to flee and fell down a stairs, suffering road rash and a cut above his eye, the report said.
He denied all the allegations, the report said.
According to the report, when officers asked Alfonso her boyfriend's name and where they could find him, she misled them, giving detectives aliases and saying she didn't know where he lived, even though they lived together.
Alfonso impeded the investigation for several days until Cancel was identified by other means, the report said. She later told police she didn't give them the information because she knew Cancel had a criminal past and she was afraid her child would be taken away.
Cancel was being held on over $250,000 bond Friday, while Alfonso was being held on $11,000 bond, jail records showed. It was unknown whether they have attorneys.