Miami-Dade Man Charged With Child Abuse After Baby Suffers Rib Fractures Claimed He Was Trying to Help Infant Son: Police

A Miami-Dade man who was arrested after his 5-week-old son suffered four rib fractures claimed it happened when he was trying to prevent the infant from choking on his own vomit, police said.

Daniel Zabala, 28, was arrested Wednesday on a child abuse charge after his young son was injured while in his care, according to an arrest report.

Zabala appeared in court Thursday where he was granted $10,000 bond. A public defender was also appointed for him.

According to the report, Zabala admitted to injuring the boy but said it was an accident. He said he grabbed and squeezed his son's rib cage and struck him on the back several times to clear his airway, the report said.

But child abuse medical experts said the injuries weren't consistent with the minimal force that Zabala demonstrated, and said it would take a greater amount of force to cause the injuries, the report said.

At a shelter hearing Friday, a judge gave temporary custody of the boy to the maternal grandparents.

The mother will have visitation rights. Zabala was ordered to have no contact with the boy.

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