Crime

Police: Tampa mom waited 'nearly 5 hours' to take toddler to hospital after finding boy unconscious

TAMPA -- A toddler at Tampa General Hospital is 80 percent brain dead and the boy's prognosis is grim, according to his aunt.

“They say within the next 24-hours they don’t believe he’s going to make it," said Shatirah Love. "He’s getting worse."

The 2-year-old boy, Christian Love, was brought to the hospital Friday night after his mom, Candace Mitchell, 24, said he had fallen, according to an arrest affidavit.

The toddler's dad, Messiah Love, 23, said TGH doctors told him that his son's injuries are consistent with blunt force trauma to the head.

“Candace told the doctors that he slipped and fell on the rug and hit his head on the tile floor,” Love said. “Six doctors have told me that there’s no possible way this kid had fell and hit his head that hard to where the back of his skull was crushed in.”

Mitchell was arrested Sunday night for aggravated child abuse. Tampa police said Mitchell admitted that she left her son with her boyfriend for 20 minutes and when she returned the boy was unconscious. Mitchell said her boyfriend told her that Christian had fallen.

Police said Mitchell told them that she 'did not provide medical aid until nearly 5 hours after the injury even though the child never regained consciousness. The defendant admitted to not calling for medical assistance because of an active child abuse investigation,' according to the report.

Love said he filed a complaint with the Department of Children and Families last week, after he found bruises on his son's body.

"I told her I don’t want to have to give him back because next time I see him he might be hurt or dead," Love said. "A week later, I’m in a hospital."

In keeping with crime guidelines, Bay News 9 has not named Mitchell's boyfriend because he has not been charged.

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