Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dad (and suspected military deserter) charged with battery, abuse of 3-month-old daughter (Ocala, Florida)

Dad RYAN LEE HUNT is charged with battering his girlfriend, his daughter's mother, and abusing their 3-month-old daughter. The baby had significant swelling and bruising in her hip area, apparently from being manhandled by Daddy while he was changing her diaper. The baby also had fractured ribs and past evidence of a hip fracture.

Mom also had bruising on her chest and arms, and finger marks on her neck.

Just to cap things off, Dad had a federal warrant for being a U.S. Navy deserter too.


Suspected U.S. Navy deserter charged with battery, child abuse

By Austin L. Miller
Staff writer

Published: Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 4:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 4:25 p.m.

OCALA – A military deserter accused of battering his girlfriend and abusing their 3-month-old daughter was arrested and charged with battery and aggravated child abuse, according to the Ocala Police Department.

An officer went to Munroe Regional Medical Center on Monday after receiving a call about an infant with significant bruising.

The woman, 29, and Ryan Lee Hunt, 20, who she said was her boyfriend and the child's father, took the baby girl to the hospital because of swelling in her hip area.

During examination, doctors detected an old fracture on the child's left hip and three fractured ribs. The doctors said the fractures appeared to be about four to six weeks old. It was believed the injury to the left hip may have occurred when the limbs were twisted.

The woman and Hunt told officials they are the only ones who care for the child.

The Department of Children and Families was notified and an official from the agency came to the hospital and took custody of the child, police say.

While at the hospital, the child's mother told an officer that Hunt on Friday hit her in the chest and arms and grabbed her neck in an attempt to choke her. She said she has been a victim of numerous beatings by him in the past but did not report them. The couple lives in Parkside Garden Apartments.

The officer noted multiple bruises on the woman's chest and arms, and finger marks on her neck.
During the investigation, authorities discovered Hunt had a federal warrant for being a deserter from the U.S. Navy. He was taken into custody.

Hunt, officials say, was supposed to leave on a ship in December but instead went home to visit his baby and never returned.

The couple was transported to the Police Department for questioning.

The woman told officials she saw Hunt grab their daughter with his hands while they argued. She said Hunt was angry, and she heard the child made a strange noise and knew the little one was hurt, so she took the baby from him.

Another time, she said, she saw Hunt twist the baby's leg while changing a diaper. She said he was mad because the little girl was moving and jerked her leg.

Hunt told Detective Jimmy Deas he grabbed his daughter around her chest area sometime in January. He said he grabbed and jerked his daughter's legs a few weeks ago, and they later were swollen.

He said he applied ice to the affected area, but the swelling didn't go away so they decided to take the child to the hospital.

Hunt denied hitting the woman, but admitted poking her two or three times in her chest.

He declined an interview request from the Star-Banner.

Hunt remained in the Marion County Jail without bond Tuesday.

It was unclear Tuesday afternoon if the baby was still hospitalized.

DCF has prior involvement with the woman, most recently in the fall of 2009 while she was pregnant, and officials with the agency said she has had children removed from her care and not returned.